Brittany Gosney Middletown Ohio mom pleads guilty to killing her 6 year old son, James Hutchinson, dumping his weighted body in a river.
A Middletown mother accused of killing her 6-year-old son and throwing the boy’s body in the Ohio River pleaded guilty Monday to his murder and two counts of felony endangering children.
Appearing in court on Monday, Brittany Lynn Gosney, 29, admitted murdered her son, James Hutchinson in February when she abandoned him and his two young siblings, 9 and 7, at Rush Run Wild Life Area in Preble County.
Hutchinson, a first-grader, was dragged by her van trying to get back in. The boy fatally hit his head as his mother sought to drive away as the boy desperately clung to the moving vehicle.
The body of the boy, who was later dumped in the Ohio River by his mother and her boyfriend, James Hamilton, had yet to be recovered despite multiple attempts to locate the missing child’s remains.
Appearing at Butler County Common Pleas Court, the emotionaless mother plead guilty to one count of murder and two counts of endangering children.
Under pressure to get rid of her children
A pre-sentencing report was ordered, and she will learn her fate on Sept. 13, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported.
Butler County Prosecutor Mike Gmoser said Gosney faces 15 years to life in prison. Final sentencing will be up to the judge.
According to the prosecutor, the death penalty did not apply in her case and said it was never an option.
According to the Preble County Sheriff’s Office, Gosney told investigators she was under pressure from her boyfriend, James Hamilton, to get rid of her children back on Feb. 26, WXIX reported.
Gosney left the park after her van hit her son, but went back for the children about 30 or 40 minutes later, police previously said.
She put them in the van and returned to their Middletown home.
That’s where prosecutors say Gosney and Hamilton put her son’s body in a spare room and left it there for 48 hours before driving to the Ohio River in Lawrenceburg, Indiana, court records show.
Children hogtied by the couple
At some point, a concrete block was tied to the first grader’s body before they threw him into the water, prosecutors wrote in court documents.
Both Gosney and Hamilton, 43, were indicted earlier this year on a combined 31-count indictment.
Eighteen of the charges are related to allegations the children were hog-tied by the couple before or after Hutchinson’s murder.
Hutchinson and at least one of his siblings were tied up, according to court records.
Gmoser said two of the child endangering charges were for hog tying the older siblings with rags stuffed in their mouths for a long period of time.
The prosecutor’s office said the plea deal not only delivers some justice for Hutchinson, but it also saves his siblings.
‘She gave up the right to be called anything but a defendant in this office – not mom or mother,’
‘We have two living children who have already been through trauma that no child should ever experience and this guilty plea prevents them from going through further trauma, at least as it relates to a case against their mother,’ said Assistant Prosecutor Kelly Heile.
The sudden plea deal emerged when Gosney and Hamilton both returned to court Monday for separate reasons.
Gmoser said in statements Gosney referred to Hutchinson as ‘the kid.’
‘She gave up the right to be called anything but a defendant in this office – not mom or mother,’ he said.
Gosney was ruled competent to stand trial in April following a court-ordered mental evaluation. The evaluation was ordered after she initially pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.
Monday’s hearing was requested by her attorney. He recently filed court records saying the statements she made to detectives should be thrown out at trial because her rights were violated.
Hamilton still faces 15 charges including, kidnapping, gross abuse of a corpse, child endangering, tampering with evidence, and abduction.
He has pleaded not guilty and briefly appeared before the judge Monday for what was to be a preliminary hearing.
Hamilton will return to court later this month.
Attempts to find missing boy’s body to resume
It remained unclear if he will take a plea deal, too, or if he will continue to dispute the allegations against him or proceed to trial on Oct. 4.
Gosney, whose trial was set for Sept. 20, returned after Monday’s hearing to the Butler County Jail. She’s been held there in lieu of a $2 million bond since her arrest in February.
Hamilton is held on a $750,000 bond.
A memorial fund, ‘James You are Loved,’ was started to provide monetary support for his two siblings.
Searchers, meanwhile, have been unable to locate Hutchinson’s body in the Ohio River despite multiple tries.
‘We are still actively searching for James,’ Middletown spokeswoman Shelby Quinlivan told the Cincinnati Enquirer on Monday.
Search efforts will resume later this week if conditions allow, Quinlivan said.