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Mother charged with death of 6-year-old son found competent to stand trial

The attorney for a Middletown mother charged with murder in the death of her 6-year-old son has...
The attorney for a Middletown mother charged with murder in the death of her 6-year-old son has filed a motion changing her plea to not guilty by reason of insanity, court records show.(Provided)
Updated: Apr. 26, 2021 at 9:55 AM EDT
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MIDDLETOWN, Ohio (FOX19) - The mother charged in connection with the death of her 6-year-old son, James Hutchinson, was found competent to stand trial during a hearing Monday morning.

Brittany Gosnney, 29, also waived her right to a speedy trial when she appeared before Butler County Common Pleas Court Judge Noah Powers.

She will return to court May 24.

A judge ordered a psychological evaluation for Gosney after she tried to change her plea.

She has confessed to police that she killed Hutchinson on Feb. 26 as he tried to get back into her minivan when she abandoned him and his two siblings, 9 and 7, at a Preble County park, officers said.

According to documents filed by prosecutors in Butler County last week, surveillance video from Gosney’s home in Middletown shows that Gosney returned to the park, put her children in the minivan, and returned to her house.

Court records state that Gosney and her boyfriend James Hamilton removed the hard drive from video cameras and their residence along with tape and rope used to bind Hutchinson and hid them at another location.

“It would show that she had the wherewithal, and they had the wherewithal to attempt to hide evidence and that does not help an insanity defense. It doesn’t mean that it will ultimately fail for that reason but it certainly doesn’t help,” FOX19 NOW’s legal expert Mike Allen said.

Other digital files, DNA swabs, search warrants, and so forth were also listed in the documents. A trail camera and pictures of a home on Logan Avenue, where police say Gosney and Hamilton stashed the hard drives with their home surveillance video stored on them, were included in the list.

Prosecutors say that Gosney left Hutchinson in a spare room for two days before driving to the Ohio River near Lawrenceburg, Indiana where his body was dumped. Crews have been searching for his body for months, and have not been able to recover him.

According to a report from the Preble County Sheriff’s Office, Gosney claims that Hamilton pressured her to get rid of her son and his siblings.

Court records show that Hamilton and Gosney face a 31-count indictment in connection to Hutchinson’s death.

Allen says that Gosney will have to be “examined by psychiatrists and psychologists and they will issue a report. The report then goes before the judge and the two sides will either stipulate to its accuracy or they’ll have a hearing.”

Court records also show that her trial date was set for May 24 but could be delayed because of her plea.

FOX19 Now’s legal expert says he expects the defense to be waiting for a plea deal from the prosecutor’s office.

“In a situation like this where your client has made a statement, although that’s not the end of the day, but it’s problematic, so you would want to listen to any legitimate plea offer that’s made,” Allen said.

They also show that Hamilton also faces multiple charges in connection with the incident.

He will return to court on May 24 as well.

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