Attorney pledges no second evaluation for Middletown woman, clearing the way for her murder case to proceed

Her not guilty by reason of insanity plea will be withdrawn, attorney says.

A Middletown mother accused of running over and killing her 6-year-old son has been declared competent to stand trial following a forensic psychological evaluation and a finding by Judge Noah Powers II during a hearing Monday in Butler County Common Pleas Court.

Brittany Gosney, 29, and James Hamilton, 43, were indicted March 5 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, Indiana.

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.

Gosney had pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity, and her attorney, David Washington, raised questions about her competency to stand trial. After reviewing the forensic psychological report that stated Gosney was not suffering from any mental defect and was capable of understanding the charges against her, Powers declared her competent to stand trial.

Washington said after the hearing the not guilty by reason of insanity plea will be withdrawn.

When competency is questioned, both the prosecution and the defense have the right to a second psychological evaluation. Washington said after the hearing, “that wasn’t necessary.”

Gosney did waive her right to a speedy trial, so there will be no trial in May. She is scheduled to be back in court on May 24 for a pre-trial hearing. Hamilton is also scheduled to be in court that day.

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 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 area and threw the body into the Ohio River, according to police.

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.

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Gosney said she was under pressure from Hamilton to get rid of Hutchinson and his two siblings, according to authorities.

Bond is set at $2 million for Gosney and $750,000 for Hamilton.

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