Trial won’t happen in May for boyfriend of Middletown woman accused of killing 6-year-old son

There will be no May trial for a Middletown man charged with disposing the body of his girlfriend’s 6-year-old son and hog-tying the boy and his siblings.

James Hamilton, 43, was indicted March 5 along with Brittany Gosney, 29, 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 near Lawrenceburg, Ind.

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.

Court documents say Gosney and Hamilton, between Feb. 25 and Feb. 26, made efforts to “hog-tie” the hands and legs of Hutchinson and his siblings, ages 7 and 9, behind their backs and place cloths in their mouths, leaving them in that position for hours.

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Middletown police say Gosney confessed to killing 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. That is alleged to have happened on Feb 26.

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.

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Hutchinson’s body was left in the house for almost 48 hours, and a concrete block was tied to his body before it was tossed in the river, according to court documents.

Hamilton was back in Butler County Common Pleas Court on Monday, and he signed a time waiver of his right to a speedy trial, meaning the trial could be moved. Judge Noah Powers II had earlier set May 24 as a trial date for both, but that date will now be a pre-trial hearing date for Hamilton.

Because Gosney has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity and her attorney has raised questions about her competency to stand trial, the 90-day “try by” clock is no longer ticking for her. Last month during pre-trial hearing, Powers ordered a psychological evaluation for Gosney. A competency evaluation hearing is set for April 26.

During Hamilton’s short hearing, his attorney, Jeremy Evans, said Hamilton is being held in protective custody at the Butler County Jail.

Both Gosney and Hamilton are in protective custody, according to Chief Deputy Anthony Dwyer, but they are not in isolation and have cell mates.

Protective custody can be applied based on the charges against inmates or other issues, such as whether they feel safe. In addition to placing the inmate with a cellmate they are comfortable with, special recreation times are scheduled so that they are not in the general population.

Powers set bond at $2 million for Gosney and $750,000 for Hamilton.

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