NewsCrime Watch


14-year-old denies murder charge for torture death of West Yellowstone boy

Posted at 10:50 AM, Mar 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-05 14:11:27-05

WEST YELLOWSTONE - James Sasser III, 14, entered a plea of not guilty in connection with the death of 12-year-old James Alex Hurley, who was killed outside of West Yellowstone.

Sasser III was arrested in February along with James Sasser Jr. and Patricia Batts, who are also charged in connection with the death of Hurley. Sasser III appeared via video in Gallatin County Justice Court on Thursday.

Sasser's bail was set at $500,000. He is expected to be tried as an adult, but that determination will be made officially at his next court appearance on July 7.

According to state prosecutors, Sasser III, Sasser Jr., and Batts are responsible for the “systematic torture” that led to Hurley’s death.

Sasser III remains in custody at a juvenile detention facility in Billings.

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