BOZEMAN: A Montana girl who pleaded responsible to torturing and killing her 12-year-old grandson greater than three years in the past has been sentenced to spend the remainder of her life in jail.
Patricia Batts, 51, pleaded responsible in Could to deliberate murder within the dying of James “Alex” Hurley on Feb. 3, 2020, in West Yellowstone in an settlement reached after prosecutors dropped efforts to hunt the dying penalty. She was sentenced Tuesday in District Court docket in Bozeman.
“This is a horrific case of child abuse. It was totally unnecessary, and it was done with malevolence,” District Choose John C. Brown stated, in response to NBC-Montana.
Batts additionally pleaded responsible to felony prison youngster endangerment for failing to get medical assist for Alex after he was fatally injured, and to witness tampering by attempting to get members of the family to offer false statements to investigators, the Division of Justice has stated. Batts obtained 10-year sentences for every of these costs.
Alex had been dwelling with Batts and her husband, James Sasser Jr., 51, in West Yellowstone following the dying of his father, who was Batts’ son. An post-mortem discovered Alex died of blunt power trauma to the again of his head. He additionally had bruises and wounds throughout his physique, courtroom data stated.
Gallatin County prosecutors alleged Alex was overwhelmed and denied meals. Investigators discovered movies of the boy being tortured and punished on cellphones seized from the members of the family.
Brown stated the video proof was probably the most “horrific” he had ever seen throughout his time on the bench. By the point of his dying, Hurley was “emaciated,” “starved,” and had been subjected to “forced exercise” in addition to routinely overwhelmed, the Bozeman Every day Chronicle reported.
Batts created the setting that inspired Alex’s abuse, prosecutors stated.
Sasser was sentenced in March 2022 to 100 years in jail for his function in Alex’s dying. He pleaded responsible to deliberate murder, youngster endangerment and tampering with a witness. At sentencing, he acknowledged he failed to guard Alex. Two youngsters belonging to Sasser and Batts had been additionally charged within the case.
Their 14-year-old son was charged in youth courtroom and acknowledged inflicting the accidents that possible led to Alex’s dying. Brown, appearing as a Youth Court docket decide, sentenced him to juvenile detention till he reaches age 18, adopted by seven years on probation. The couple’s daughter was sentenced to probation for her function.
Batts has been jailed since her arrest simply over per week after Alex died.