Motions filed in case of Middletown mother accused of killing 6-year-old son

Credit: Journal News

Brittany Gosney and James Hamilton appear in court in connection to the death of James Hutchinson

Credit: Journal News

An attorney for a Middletown woman charged with the death of her 6-year-old son is requesting to review grand jury testimony and wants evidence suppressed at trial.

Brittany Gosney, 29, and her boyfriend James Hamilton, 43, were indicted March 5 and arraigned Monday in Butler County Common Pleas Court on a combined 31-count indictment for the slaying of 6-year-old James Hutchinson on Feb. 26 in rural Preble County and the disposal of his body days later in the Ohio River.

Bond was set at $2 million for Brittany Gosney Monday, March 8, 2021 in Butler County Common Pleas Court in Hamilton. Gosney is charged with multiple counts in connection to the death of her 6-year-old son James Hutchinson. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF
Bond was set at $2 million for Brittany Gosney Monday, March 8, 2021 in Butler County Common Pleas Court in Hamilton. Gosney is charged with multiple counts in connection to the death of her 6-year-old son James Hutchinson. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Court-appointed attorneys David Washington for Gosney and Jeremy Evans for Hamilton entered not guilty pleas on behalf of the defendants, and Judge Noah Powers II set bond at $2 million for Gosney and $750,000 for Hamilton.

ExploreTimeline: How the murder case of Middletown 6-year-old James Hutchinson unfolded

A tentative trial date was set for May 24.

Middletown police say Gosney confessed to killing James Hutchinson, a first-grader at Rosa Parks Elementary, as he clung to her minivan when she attempted to abandon him and his two siblings at Rush Run Wild Life Area.

Gosney and Hamilton put Hutchinson’s body in a spare room under a window at their Crawford Street home, they told police. At about 3 a.m. on Feb. 28, they drove down Interstate 275 in the van to the Lawrenceburg, Indiana, area and threw the body into the Ohio River, according to police.

Bond was set at $750,000 for James Hamilton Monday, March 8, 2021 in Butler County Common Pleas Court in Hamilton. Hamilton is charged with multiple counts in connection to the disposal of the body of his girlfriend's 6-year-old son James Hutchinson.  NICK GRAHAM / STAFF
Bond was set at $750,000 for James Hamilton Monday, March 8, 2021 in Butler County Common Pleas Court in Hamilton. Hamilton is charged with multiple counts in connection to the disposal of the body of his girlfriend's 6-year-old son James Hutchinson. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Gosney and Hamilton are facing felony crimes against all three children, including murder, involuntary manslaughter, gross abuse of a corpse and endangering children for Gosney and kidnapping, gross abuse of a corpse, kidnapping and endangering children for Hamilton.

In a brief motion Washington requested the court to suppress evidence “illegally obtained by police.” He also filed a motion to review grand jury testimony, which is usually secret except under specific circumstances.

ExploreCrews back in Ohio River, using sonar searching for body of missing Middletown boy

In the motion, Washington requested the court to prepare a transcript of the grand jury testimony in the case with the anticipation that it might be used during trial.

The law allows for grand jury testimony to be used in specific cases, such as challenging the credibility of a witness with inconsistencies from grand jury and live testimony.

“It is believed several persons who testified at grand jury have also given a statement to the police and possibly to other persons. Their testimony at the grand jury may contain exculpatory information,” Washington said in the motion. “If such is the case, defense counsel needs it prior to trial in order to effectively prepare a defense for Ms. Gosney.”

Gosney and Hamilton are both scheduled to be back in court March 22. Motions in Hamilton’s case had not yet been filed on Friday afternoon.

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 to abandon them.

James Robert Hutchinson
James Robert Hutchinson

Crews continue to search the Ohio River for Hutchinson’s body, but have have been limited in the scope of the search because of the river’s high level.

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