NewsCrime and Courts


Prosecutor seeks death penalty for grandmother of slain West Yellowstone boy

Batts' bail remains at $750,000
Posted at 2:30 PM, May 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-11 16:30:19-04

Paperwork requesting the death penalty for a West Yellowstone grandmother accused of “systematically torturing” and murdering her grandson has now been filed by the Gallatin County Attorney’s Office.

That paperwork was filed Friday -- seeking the death penalty for Patricia Batts.

MTN News has been in the courtroom since the beginning in February -- Batts is charged with deliberate homicide by association in the death of grandson, 12-year-old James Alexander Hurley.

Also charged in connection to Hurley’s death is his grandfather, James Sasser Jr., his 14-year-old uncle, James Sasser III, his aunt Madison Sasser, and one of Sasser III’s friends, Gage Roush.

According to dozens of pages of court documents, investigators say Batts tortured Hurley, with Sasser III and Roush taking part in videos of the acts. And according to the attorney’s office -- torture is grounds to request the death penalty.

They also add that Sasser III’s status as a juvenile or an adult is still being discussed by the courts.

Batts’ bail remains at $750,000.