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Teen pleads not guilty to killing 12-year-old nephew

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ASSOCIATED PRESS

BOZEMAN — A 14-year-old Montana boy pleaded not guilty Thursday to the beating and torturing death of his 12-year-old nephew in West Yellowstone.

The boy entered his plea in District Court to a charge of deliberate homicide. The court had planned to hold 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. The Associated Press is not using the boy’s name because he is a juvenile.

District Judge John Brown rescheduled the transfer hearing for July 7, the Bozeman Daily Chronicle reported.

James “Alex” Hurley had been living with his grandparents, two uncles and an aunt in West Yellowstone for about two years, court records said. He died in early February. An autopsy found he had bruising all over his body and died from head trauma. Investigators found evidence the boy was regularly abused, including videos.

Alex’s grandparents are charged with felony deliberate homicide in his death. They have not entered pleas and their next court appearances have not been scheduled.

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