A 12-year-old boy was found dead in his living room after allegedly being tortured by his uncle and grandparents.
James Alex Hurley, from Montana in the US, was living with his grandparents, two uncles, and an aunt.
He was found dead on February 3 and police discovered multiple wounds on his body.
After his death, investigators said they found evidence including videos, that indicated James’ grandparents and his 14-year-old uncle regularly abused him, including beating him with a wooden paddle and locking away food.
James Sasser Jr, 47, and Patricia Batts, 48, been charged with deliberate homicide along with their 14-year-old son, the boy’s uncle.
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Batts told investigators that James and his uncle had a “bad fight” on January 27.
The uncle said he found James standing over Batts with a knife, according to the court records.
He admitted kicking James in the head multiple times in the 24 to 36 hours before his death, the New York Post reports.
Local authorities told KTVH-TV that “systematic torture and beatings” led to his death.
The family also forced James to do exercises such as jumping jacks and squats, the channel claims.
James was sent to live with his grandparents by his mum following the death of his dad in 2018.
According to a criminal complaint from the Gallatin County Attorney’s Office, the family claimed he had “suicidal” and “erratic” behaviour, and also “hearing voices”.
Following the three arrests, authorities charged a second teenager, Gage Roush, 18, on allegations he assaulted the boy.
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James’ aunt Misty Burks told local media: "He was a kid that was happy.
"It's gut-wrenching. It makes me want to throw up. It makes me want to crawl up in a little ball and die.
“Not only because it's my blood, but because that is a child. It makes me sick to my stomach."
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