The plea hearing came a week after Brittany Gosney, Hamilton’s girlfriend, pleaded to murder and two counts of felony child endangering for killing Hutchinson and abusing his sibling.
Hamilton’s wife, Priscilla Hamilton, and his 18-year-old step-daughter cried as the pleas were entered. Priscilla Hamilton said her husband is not a monster.
She said Hutchinson’s father is her brother and he and Gosney were living with her for a while before they started living in area hotels.
“I have been married to him almost 12 years, been with him almost 17 years. My baby was 6 months old when we got together, he never once harmed her,” Priscilla Hamilton said.
Priscilla Hamilton said she and her husband have had some rough patches and Gosney has a hold over him, not the opposite. She caught her husband texting with Gosney, “I nipped it in the bud. But as far as being abuse, no.”
“You make him out to be the bad guy. I don’t believe he wanted her to get rid of the kids,” she said. “He did wrong, he should have called the police when she (Gosney) came home with him (Hutchinson) dead. But I can’t believe he would harm the kids.”
Hamilton admitted to hog tying Hutchinson, putting a cloth in his mouth and leaving him. He also admitted to doing the same to his siblings then throwing the 6-year-old’s body in the Ohio River.
Butler County Prosecutor Michael Gmoser said after the hearing the family is welcome to their opinion and so is he.
“It happened because of evil in the hearts of defendant Gosney and defendant Hamilton,” Gmoser said. “He did monstrous things to little Jimmy.”
Gosney, 29, and Hamilton, 43, were indicted in March on a combined 31-count indictment for the slaying of Hutchinson on Feb. 26 in rural Preble County and the disposal of his body days later in the river near Lawrenceburg, Indiana.
Brittany Gosney pleaded guilty to murder Monday in Butler County Common Pleas Court. She killed her son, James Hutchison, 6, at Preble County wild life park. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
Gosney faces a mandatory maximum of life in prison with the possibility of parole after 15 years and a maximum of 36 months each for the child endangering charges. Her sentencing is set for Sept. 13.
Gosney admitted to charges related to the torture and hog-tying of Hutchinson’s two older siblings. The murder charge states Hutchinson died as a result of child endangering when Gosney tried to abandon her three children and recklessly caused the death of the boy before bringing his body back to the Crawford Street residence she shared with Hamilton.
Gosney confessed to killing Hutchinson, a first-grader at Rosa Parks Elementary School, who died after he clung to her minivan as she sped off while attempting 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 minivan to the Lawrenceburg area and threw the boy’s body into the Ohio River, according to police.
Assistant Prosecutor Kelly Heile and Butler County Prosecutor Michael Gmoser answer questions about the guilty plea of Brittany Gosney. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
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. Hutchinson’s body has not been found despite several searches in the water and along the banks of the river.
Gosney said she was under pressure from Hamilton to get rid of Hutchinson and his two siblings, according to authorities.
Hutchinson’s body has not been found but dive teams continue efforts when the water is safe to do so.