Middletown mother said boyfriend pressured her to abandon kids before 6-year-old son was killed

It didn’t take long for Middletown police to determine the story Brittany Gosney and her boyfriend were telling about her 6-year-old son disappearing from their Crawford Street house Saturday night wasn’t true.

Gosney and James Hamilton made the missing child report for James Hutchinson at about 10:15 a.m. Sunday. By about 3:20 p.m., Middletown detectives and Preble County Sheriff’s deputies were at state park Rush Run Wildlife Area off Ohio 127. That’s where Gosney told Middletown police she hit and killed Hutchinson as he clung to her minivan trying to avoid being abandoned in the middle of the night.

According to the Preble County Sheriff’s Office report, Gosney said she was under pressure from Hamilton to get rid of Hutchinson and his two siblings, ages 9 and 7. The 29-year-old mother drove the three children in a 2005 Dodge Caravan to Rush Run at about 3 a.m. Saturday to abandon them, according to Middletown and Preble reports.

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Gosney chose the rural location because she and Hamilton had taken the kids fishing there, according to the PCSO report.

“Brittany admitted she planned to get the kids out of the vehicle and leave them behind as Hamilton had been pressuring her to get rid of the kids,” Preble County Capt. Andrew Blevins said in the report.

Middletown police detective Tom McIntosh drove Gosney from Middletown to the parking lot near the boat dock so she could show law enforcement were the incident happened.

Hutchison grabbed onto the door handle, and when Gosney slammed the gas trying to leave the kids, Hutchinson was dragged and hit, according to law enforcement.

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Gosney and Hamilton put Hutchinson’s body in a spare room under a window. At approximately 3 a.m. Sunday, they drove on I-275 in the van to the Lawrenceburg, Indiana, area and threw the body in the Ohio River, according to police.

Gosney is charged with murder, abuse of corpse and tampering with evidence. Hamilton, 42, is charged with abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence. Bond was set Monday in Middletown Municipal Court at $1 million for Gosney and $105,000 for Hamilton. They are scheduled to be back in court next week for preliminary hearings. They remained housed Tuesday in the Middletown City Jail.

During the arraignment hearing, Gosney told Judge James Sherron, “I have a learning disability. I don’t understand what you are saying” after he read the charges against her and asked if she wanted a court-appointed attorney.

Crews were not able to search the Ohio River Tuesday for the body because of the high level of the river. Middletown Police Chief David Birk said the water level will be checked every day to determine whether it’s safe to search for Hutchinson, who was a first-grader at Rosa Parks Elementary School.

Birk said while Gosney and Hamilton gave conflicting statements about some aspects of the child’s death, the part about dumping the body is the same. Gosney has been given a lie detector test.

“In the beginning they had different statements about when they last saw the child,” Birk said. “But when it comes down to the details of this part, it’s identical.”

At a memorial Monday night, Lewis Hutchinson, James’ father, said he wants justice for his son.

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“I don’t know how somebody could be a monster and do something like that to a 6-year-old. And his own mother at that,” Lewis Hutchinson said. “When I was fighting to get him why didn’t she just give him to me.”

He said it is difficult to process what happened.

“I want justice, I want them both to rot that’s what I want,” Lewis Hutchinson said.

He said James was a loving child.

“He was really funny. He just brought joy to everybody … he was a great kid. He was my world,” Lewis Hutchinson said.

Birk said Butler County Children Services had been involved with the family in the past. James’ siblings have now been placed in foster care.

Middletown Schools officials said grief counselors were available on Monday. They also held a vigil Tuesday night at Barnitz Stadium.

Butler County Prosecutor Michael Gmoser said after talking with Preble County Prosecutor Martin Votel, the decision was made to litigate the case in Butler County, where “85% of the crime was committed.”

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