In reality, the Rosa Parks Elementary student had been dead for more than 24 hours. He was killed at a Preble County park when he was dragged by Gosney as she drove away in an attempt to abandon the boy and his two siblings, ages 7 and 9.
A few hours before telling the fake missing child story, Gosney and Hamilton had tossed the boy’s body in the Ohio River from a bridge in Lawrenceburg, Ind.
Gosney, 29, and Hamilton, 43, were indicted in March on a combined 31-count indictment for the slaying of Hutchinson and abuse of his siblings.
After pleading guilty to murder and two counts of felony child endangering, Gosney was sentenced in Butler County Common Pleas Court on Sept. 13 to life in prison with parole eligibility after 21 years.
Hamilton will be sentenced Tuesday after pleading guilty to kidnapping, felony child abuse and gross abuse of a corpse. He faces a maximum of 19 years in prison.
In interrogation video reviewed by the Journal-News, Hamilton drinks water and talks to himself as McIntosh leaves the room to check on the progress of Gosney’s questioning. He says, “Man, why did this boy have to do this? James, why do you do this stupid stuff?”
Screenshot from video as Brittany Gosney is interviewed by Middletown police on Feb. 28, 2021. submitted
Outside the interrogation room, the two surviving children are heard talking to detectives in muffled voices.
When McIntosh returns saying Gosney is telling a slightly different story, Hamilton dticks to the fake narrative. And when the detective starts to leave again, Hamilton asks how much longer it will take.
“I have to look for my son. I need my medication,” he says.
Minutes later McIntosh returns with Detective Jon Hoover. Hoover gets right to the point.
“She (Gosney) has told me most of the truth. She’s saying she don’t remember where he’s at, but she has told me ... he’s dead. And that you guys were together with the children,” Hoover says.
Hamilton is quick to answer, “As for me being with her and the kids, no sir. I was not with them.”
He stresses he did not go to Rush Run but says they had gone to the park before and dropped the kids off as a “scare tactic” and form of punishment.
”She was supposed to take the kids up there and give them a scare tactic,” Hamilton tells the detectives. “Drop them off for a few minutes and then turn around and go get them because they was all acting up real bad. Well all of a sudden she calls me. Tells me he’s dead. Who’s dead? And she told me James was chasing after her and he tripped and fell and hit his head, busted his head open and he was dead.”
Gosney brought James’ body back to the house, and he was placed in an upstairs bedroom while they decided what to do. Hamilton says that early that morning they drove the van to the Interstate 275 bridge and disposed of the body. He said it was Gosney’s idea to report James missing.
“I am going to jail just for helping her …. This isn’t fair to me,” Hamilton says while on the verge of tears
Hoover answers, “It isn’t fair to the little boy either.”
In a second interview on March 1, after he had been arrested, Hamilton told McIntosh more details and described hog-tying all three children in the hours leading up to James’ death.
Hamilton, who later admitted to punching and hitting all three children, said Gosney had been “threatening to hog-tie them for weeks. Finally she decided, ‘Let’s go head and hog-tie them, see if that works.’”
He bought a rope at Walmart and threw it on the floor to threaten the children. Then Hamilton said the children continued to misbehave so they were tied up and put in an upstairs closet.
Gosney began to tie up James and then, “she asked me to show her how to tie them up,” Hamilton says in the video.
The same red and black rope would later be used to tie a concrete block around James before he was thrown into the river, according to Hamilton.
The children were left hog-tied for six hours, he said. About 2 a.m. “she untied them, made them put on their shoes and made them go to Rush Run,” Hamilton says in the video.
Hamilton continued to hedge on admitting he told Gosney to abandon the children.
“I told her, ‘You need to find someplace to go with your disrespectful kids,’ or I would leave,” Hamilton said.
Hamilton told the detectives about putting the boy’s body in the van about 3 a.m., leaving the two other children sleeping at home and driving to the bridge. After tying the concrete block around the body, he held the boy’s head and Gosney held his feet as they tossed his body, Hamilton said.
The rope, hard drive for the home surveillance cameras and James’ glasses were hidden in a box in a nearby garage, Hamilton said.
“Once you get the hard drive it will prove I wasn’t there (when James died),” Hamilton says.