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A Montana teenager pleaded "not guilty" to felony deliberate homicide in Gallatin County District Court on Thursday after being accused of torturing and beating his nephew to death.
The teen appeared at the hearing via video to plead his innocence in the Feb. 3 death of James “Alex” Hurley, The New York Post reported.
Hurley's grandparents, James Sasser Jr., 47, and Patricia Batts, 48, were allegedly involved in the fatal beating as well, and are also facing a felony deliberate homicide charge. They both appeared in court last month where bail was set at $750,000 for Batts and $500,000 for Sasser.
Hurley had been living with his grandparents, two uncles and an aunt in West Yellowstone – near the border of Wyoming and Idaho – for about two years, court records showed.
After his death, investigators claimed to have found evidence, including videos, that showed how Hurley was regularly abused by his uncle and grandparents.
Hurley's 14-year-old uncle, who reportedly is 6 feet tall and weighs about 300 pounds, admitted to kicking Hurley in the head multiple times in the days leading up to his death, charging documents said.
Batts said Hurley slept on the floor in the living room and was mumbling and moaning throughout the night before she found him dead the next morning.
No one sought medical attention for him, according to prosecutor Bjorn Boyer. The autopsy showed bruising all over Hurley's body and concluded that he died from trauma to the head.
Another man, Gage Roush, 18, was also arrested last month and charged with felony assault on a minor in connection with Hurley’s death, the Bozeman Daily Chronicle reported.
Batts was also charged with aggravated kidnapping, criminal child endangerment, and strangulation of a partner or family member and could face the death penalty if convicted, according to the Post.
Fox News' Bradford Betz contributed to this report