Teen Pleads Not Guilty to Killing 12-Year-Old Nephew
A 14-year-old Montana boy has pleaded not guilty to beating and torturing his 12-year-old nephew to death in West Yellowstone. The boy entered his plea to a charge of deliberate homicide Thursday in District Court in Bozeman. The court had planned a hearing to determine if he should be tried as an adult but defense attorney Annie DeWolf asked for more time to review the case. According to the Billings Daily Chronicle, the 14-year-old boy is currently being held at a youth detention center in Billings.
District Judge John Brown rescheduled the transfer hearing for July 7. The grandparents of the victim, James “Alex” Hurley, are also charged in his death in February. They have not entered pleas and their next court appearances have not been scheduled.
The Billings Daily Chronicle reports that investigators discovered videos depicting physical and verbal abuse towards Hurley that included Hurley's grandmother, Patricia Batts. Batts told detectives that she does not feel responsible for Hurley's death. Batts is currently facing charges of deliberate homicide, aggravated kidnapping, criminal child endangerment and strangulation of partner or family member. If convicted of all charges, she may face the death penalty.
The Billings Daily Chronicle published a full article that can be accessed here.