Middletown detectives awarded for work in solving murder of 6-year-old boy

Veteran Middletown police officers whose detective work led to the conviction of a mother and her boyfriend in the murder of 6-year-old James Hutchinson last year are the latest recipients of the Butler County Prosecutor’s Office Meritorious Award.

Officer Jon Hoover and Detective Tom McIntosh were surrounded with friends, family and fellow officers Tuesday for the award presentation at county Prosecutor Michael Gmoser’s office.

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Hoover and McIntosh were partners in the detective section in February 2021 when Brittany Gosney and boyfriend, James Hamilton, fabricated a story about Hutchinson missing from their Crawford Street home. The truth was the Rosa Parks Elementary student was run over and killed by his mother as he clung to her van in a botched attempt to abandon all three children in Preble County.

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Hours of interrogation and investigation led to the conviction of Brittany Gosney for the murder of her son, and Hamilton for abuse and throwing the boy’s body in the Ohio River to cover up the crimes.

Gmoser established the award several years ago after realizing police officers “do tremendous work and they really don’t get enough recognition.”

He said when McIntosh and Hoover began the case, they assumed nothing, “they probed, they investigated, they detected. They had questions, they went over the evidence, they reviewed the evidence, they talked to the suspects again ... finally they solved it.”

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Gmoser said because of the hard work of the detectives, prosecutors were able to do their work in litigating the case, which also held up on appeal.

“We can’t do our job without them doing their job, and they did it tremendously,” Gmoser said.

Former Assistant Prosecutor Kelly Heile, who prosecuted the case, said “This case with little James Hutchinson was one of the worst that I had ever seen and I watched these two in their detective interviews keep going, keep pushing with just the right finesse ... they were able to get to the truth.”

McIntosh and Hoover were appreciative, but had few words.

“We really appreciate it very much. Thanks to everybody that helped us and did anything at some point to support us,” McIntosh said.

In an interview Monday with the Journal-News, Hoover said they are appreciative for the recognition and summed up the sentiment of the former partners: “We were just doing our jobs.”

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