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Mother arrested for son’s murder claims boyfriend pressured her to get rid of kids, report says

Updated: Mar. 2, 2021 at 7:11 PM EST
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MIDDLETOWN, Ohio (FOX19) - New details released by the Preble County Sheriff’s Office might indicate a possible motive behind the murder of a 6-year-old boy.

Brittany Gosney, 29, is accused of killing her son James Hutchinson on Feb. 27, according to Middletown police.

A report from the sheriff’s office says Gosney claimed her boyfriend, 42-year-old James Hamilton, was pressuring her to get rid of her three children.

Gosney took 6-year-old James and her two other children to the area of Rush Run Wildlife in Preble County around 3 a.m. Feb. 27, the sheriff’s office report reads.

Gosney told investigators during an interview she planned to get the three kids out of the minivan and leave them behind.

The children were outside the van when 6-year-old James tried getting back in by grabbing the door handle.

Gosney “slammed the gas,” according to the report. James was dragged for a distance and was run over, investigators said.

She told them James was dead when she turned the minivan around to check on him.

The report says Gosney put James’ body and the two kids into the van and then went back to the home where she and Hamilton lived on Crawford Street in Middletown.

Hamilton and Gosney moved James’ body to a spare bedroom for an unknown time, according to the sheriff’s office.

Around 3 a.m. on Feb. 28, Gosney and Hamilton put James back into the minivan and drove toward Lawrenceburg, Indiana where Middletown police say they dumped the young boy’s body into the Ohio River.

Police say they will be working with trained searchers in an attempt to recover James’s body.
Police say they will be working with trained searchers in an attempt to recover James’s body.(Middletown Police)

Middletown police say Gosney and Hamilton came to report James missing about seven hours later.

Chief David Birk on Monday says something was odd from the beginning. That feeling was mentioned in the sheriff’s report released on Tuesday.

“During conversations with police, law enforcement became suspicious they were not getting the entire story,” the sheriff’s report reads.

It goes on to say that investigators conducted separate interviews with Gosney and Hamilton and they gave different stories of what happened.

As the interview continued, Gosney admitted to killing her son, James, according to the sheriff’s report. She also said Hamilton had pressured her to get rid of the three kids, the report said.

The report does not mention what Hamilton said while being interviewed.

Gosney is charged with murder, abuse of a corpse, and tampering with evidence. Hamilton is charged with abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence.

A judge set bond at $1 million for Gosney on Monday, while Hamilton’s bond was set at $100,000.

Both are due back in court on March 8.

In court on Monday, Gosney made mention that she has a learning disability.

FOX19 NOW legal expert Mike Allen was asked if a learning disability could make a difference in the case.

“What is relevant for a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity is: Does she know right from wrong? Really the fact that she has a learning disability really means absolutely nothing what-so-ever to the case,” Allen explained.

Gosney and Hamilton’s cases will be tried in Butler County, according to Prosecutor Mike Gmoser.

Gmoser said he and the Preble County prosecutor agreed that with the percentage of the alleged incidents happening in Butler County, it would be best for the case to be tried there.

Even though the case will be tried in Butler County, Allen said Gosney and Hamilton could face charges in Indiana for disposing of James’ body there. He said he expects all of their charges to be handled in the Butler County court though.

James Hamilton, age 42, was charged with Abuse of a Corpse and Tampering with Evidence.
James Hamilton, age 42, was charged with Abuse of a Corpse and Tampering with Evidence.(Middletown Police)

The Butler County Department of Job and Family Services filed a neglect/dependency complaint on March 1 regarding Gosney’s two other children, according to the administrator for Butler County Juvenile Court.

Robert Clevenger says the court granted an emergency order that same day placing both children in the temporary custody of BCDJFS

Gosney and Hamilton were also ordered not to have contact with the children.

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