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.
The Butler County Prosecutor’s Office has released one of several interrogation interviews of Gosney. The first took place in the Middletown police conference room.
For awhile, Gosney stuck with the story that the Rosa Parks Elementary first-grader was missing. But little by little, as Hamilton was interrogated in a separate room, Gosney gave her confession, although mitigated, to what happened at Rush Run Wildlife Park in Preble County.
During the 3-hour, 19-minute interrogation, Gosney showed no emotion, did not refer to her dead son by name and did not ask if police were searching for her child.
Gosney first told Detective Jon Hoover that James and his siblings went to bed at 9 p.m. and she went to bed soon after. Because she takes medication for anxiety and other things, Gosney said she was “out” until Hamilton woke her and asked if she had seen James.
Hamilton woke up about 4 or 5 a.m. and found the boy was not in the house, Gosney says. Then Hamilton went looking for James and drove around the area.
Hoover noted a young child had been missing since early morning and she didn’t come to the police until six hours later.
“Where do you think the child is now, any ideas?” Hoover asked Gosney.
“I have no idea,” she answered.
After talking with Hamilton, the detective told Gosney that her boyfriend was giving a different version of what happened.
“I am very concerned ... not only for your boy, I am very concerned there is something you are not telling me,” Hoover tells Gosney.
After talking with Hamilton again, Hoover returned to the conference room and read Gosney her Miranda rights. While he was gone, Gosney slumped back in the chair and looked through her wallet.
Gosney then told a story about James having a nightmare, waking her and watching TV with her in the living room.
Hoover tells Gosney, “(Hamilton) is pushing this off on you, Ok I am going to be real up front with you about this at this point, so you need to be very smart, and honesty goes a long with me.”
When Gosney continues to say James had a nightmare, something about seeing shadow, Hoover asks why she didn’t tell him these details before.
“I have a problem with memory issues,” Gosney says.
“OK, you are lying to me about some stuff,” Hoover says. “I suspect something accidently happened, because you are all over the place with your stories. For whatever reason you are scared and you are not telling me the whole truth,”
Hoover urges Gosney to take a sip of her drink and a deep breath and tell him the truth.
Gosney blurted out, “(Hamilton) told me to get rid of the kids. And so I took them for a drive to make him think I was going to get rid of them, but I am not going to get rid of my kids for anybody on the planet.”
At first Gosney has difficulty remembering where they drove, but then she says she stopped the van at a portable toilet at Rush Run for the children to use the restroom.
Gosney says James slipped and fell because it was raining. He hit his head and she left him in the parking lot, she says.
After another discussion with Hamilton, Hoover and Detective Tom McIntosh returned.
“Alright, (Hamilton) is telling me the body was dumped off the bridge, that you guys went together to do that this morning,” Hoover tells Gosney.
She does not deny it, saying it was the river between Ohio and Indiana. Then Gosney admits to her son’s death at the park, taking him home to Crawford Street and later throwing his body in the river.
“James, the kid, didn’t want to get out of the van.” she says. “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 tells the detectives. “He tried to catch his balance. He didn’t get to and fell and busted his head on the ground.”
Gosney says she “rolled him over, tried to help him back to see if I could get him to come back. At first he was still breathing.”
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.