Preble Co. Sheriff’s Office recognized for assisting in case of young boy’s death

The Preble County Sheriff's Office was recognized by Middletown City Council for its work in the case of the death of 6-year-old James Hutchison.

Credit: Rick McCrabb

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The Preble County Sheriff's Office was recognized by Middletown City Council for its work in the case of the death of 6-year-old James Hutchison.

Credit: Rick McCrabb

Preble County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Shane Hatfield and Detective Andrew Forrer were recognized for their efforts regarding the case of James Hutchinson, the 6-year-old Middletown boy who was killed by his mother in a Preble County park in February.

Middletown Police Chief David Birk called it “a very difficult case” that drew national attention and getting convictions of Hutchinson’s mother and boyfriend was “a group effort.”

Middletown Mayor Nicole Condrey read a letter from Birk that said Hatfield and Forrer played “instrumental roles” throughout the case.

Birk presented Preble County Sheriff Mike Simpson a framed photograph of James. Simpson said the boy is “remembered to this day.”

James Hamilton, 43, has pleaded guilty to kidnapping, two counts of child endangering and gross abuse of a corpse in connection with the abuse and death of James, a first-grader at Rosa Parks Elementary School, and abuse of his two siblings in February.

Hamilton abused James and disposed his body in the Ohio River after his mother killed him. He was sentenced to the maximum of 19 years. He will be eligible for parole after 15 years but could serve the maximum depending on his behavior in prison.

Brittany Gosney, 29, Hamilton’s girlfriend and Hutchinson’s mother, pleaded guilty to murder and two counts of felony child endangering for killing Hutchinson and abusing his siblings. She was sentenced Sept. 13 to life in prison with parole eligibility after 21 years.

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