NewsCrime and Courts


Aunt of dead West Yellowstone boy charged with negligent homicide

Posted at 12:26 PM, Apr 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-03 17:25:51-04

The aunt of a 12-year-old boy who was reportedly tortured and beaten to death in February in West Yellowstone appeared in Gallatin County Justice Court on Friday, April 3, 2020.

Madison Sasser, 18, faces a $150,000 bail in connection with the death of Hurley. Sasser was recently extradited from Texas after being charged with negligent homicide.

Sasser's next court appearance is set for April 24, 2020.

The aunt of a 12-year-old boy who was reportedly tortured and beaten to death in February in West Yellowstone has been arrested in Texas.

MTN News confirmed that Madison Sasser, 18, is jailed in Conroe Texas, being held on an out-of-state fugitive warrant.

Sasser is the aunt of James Alex Hurley, 12, who was found dead in the family home in West Yellowstone in early February.

Investigators say they found videos of Hurley being tortured by members of his extended family before his death.

12-year-old James Alexander Hurley

Hurley's grandparents, James Sasser Jr. and Patricia Batts, face homicide charges in the case, accused of the “systematic torture” that led to Hurley’s death.

James Sasser III, 14, remains in custody, the sole person charged with deliberate homicide.

Gage Roush, 18, of West Yellowstone was charged with assault in the case.

According to charging documents, On Feb. 3, 2020 a Gallatin /County Sheriff’s deputy was dispatched to a home on Buffalo Drive in West Yellowstone for the unattended death of a 12-year-old child.

The deputy found circumstances surrounding the death suspicious and he requested assistance from the detective division after he observed the boy had multiple wounds and contusions all over his body.

Further investigation found that Hurley was living with his grandparents, Sasser, his 18-year-old aunt, and his 6 and 14-year-old uncles.

batts husband.jpeg

Hurley’s grandmother, Patricia Batts, told investigators that the boy had been living with them for 2 years after being sent to Montana by his mother to live with his father while his mother continued to live in Texas. The boy’s father died approximately 2 years prior and that was the reason the boy was living with them.

This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.