Middletown detectives took Brittany Gosney on a drive to Rush Run Wildlife Area in Preble County and then a bridge over the Ohio River in Indiana on Feb. 28 after she admitted after questioning that her 6-year-old son was dead.
Then they sat her down for round two of questioning.
Gosney showed no emotion during the first three-hour interview that started with the ruse that son James Hutchison was missing from her Crawford Street house that she shared with the boy’s siblings and boyfriend, James Hamilton.
It didn’t take long for Detective Jon Hoover to tell Gosney he didn’t believe her. Little by little, the detectives were able to get Gosney to tell them the Rosa Parks Elementary first-grader died when she tried to dump all her children at the rural park and she and Hamilton threw Hutchinson’s body in the Ohio River.
But she offered up several versions before telling detectives Hamilton told her to get rid of her three kids and she drove to the park with a plan to scare them or abandon James and his siblings, then age 7 and 9.
“James, the kid, didn’t want to get out of the van,” she said. “I told him I wasn’t going to leave them. Well, I was thinking about leaving them, so I kind of, like, pulled off a little bit, and James fell kind of down on his knees, went to go get back up and then just dropped.”
Gosney says she did not run over Hutchinson with the van.
“I’m assuming he grabbed the handle because I kind of pulled him a little bit, not much,” Gosney told the detectives. “He tried to catch his balance. He didn’t get to and fell and busted his head on the ground.”
When the attempts to revive the boy did not work, Gosney says she picked up his body and laid him “nice and softly” in the van. With the other two children in the back seat, she drove to their Crawford Street home in Middletown.
Detectives then took Gosney to Rush Run and a bridge in Lawrenceburg, Ind. She willingly went with them to point out where James died, and where she and Hamilton threw away his body, according to police.
The second interrogation that day began at about 7:15 p.m. and continued into the night when Gosney asked for a “lady” to be in the police conference room for questioning.
Hoover again told Gosney he didn’t believe they had gotten the whole truth. With Middletown Detective Becki French and Preble County Sherriff’s Detective Drew Forrer in the room, Gosney started to cry as she recounted another version of her son’s death.
She and Hamilton were arguing and he told her to get rid of the kids or he would put her out of the house. She said she woke up all three children and drove to Rush Run.
“I went in the parking lot, sat here for a few minutes ... I was thinking,” Gosney said. Then she told the children to get out of the van. “I was like, ‘Get out.’ I told the kids I was sorry, the older kids were the only ones who got out.”
Gosney said she tapped James several times to get him out of the van and eventually pulled him out and set him in the parking lot.
“(He said) ‘Mommy, I don’t want to be here.’ He kept trying to open the car door. I was sitting there ... (he) was there trying to get in the door. I went to pull off, I’m not sure he had a handle, I went forward,” Gosney said.
Gosney said she believed she dragged Hutchinson as he held onto the van door handle.
“I do know he eventually let go of the handle ― didn’t hear anything; I had the music on,” Gosney said. She says she heard the children screaming and a noise but didn’t think anything of it because the back windshield wiper squeaks.
Gosney said when she turned around, she found James dead. She said her daughter told her that she had not run over him but had dragged him.
Gosney, 29, and Hamilton, 43, were indicted in March on a combined 31-count indictment.
After pleading guilty to murder and two counts of felony child endangering, Gosney was sentenced in Butler County Common Pleas Court last week to life in prison with parole eligibility after 21 years. Hamilton will be sentenced next month after pleading guilty to kidnapping, felony child abuse, and gross abuse of a corpse.
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