Montana Grandmother Pleads Not Guilty In Boy's Beating Death

BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) — A Montana woman pleaded not guilty to charges she beat and tortured her 12-year-old grandson to death at their home.

Patricia Batts, 48, is charged with deliberate homicide, aggravated kidnapping, criminal child endangerment, and strangulation of partner or family member in the death of Alex Hurley, The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports.

The West Yellowstone resident has been held on $750,000 bail at the Gallatin County jail since February.

Gallatin County Sheriff’s deputies investigating the boy’s death found several videos on phones showing members of the family torturing the boy, court records said.

Batts’ husband, 47-year-old James Sasser Jr., and 14-year-old son are each charged with felony deliberate homicide. Sasser Jr. also faces a charge of felony criminal child endangerment.

Batts’ daughter, 18-year-old Madison Sasser, is charged with negligent homicide.

Gage Roush, 18, pleaded not guilty to felony assault on a minor. Prosecutors say Roush was seen in videos hitting Alex with a wooden paddle.

Batts told detectives they recorded Alex because he needed mental help.

Batts claimed she did not know how the boy died and told detectives she did not feel responsible for his death, court documents said.

View Source