Mom, 29, pleads guilty to abandoning her three children in Ohio park and killing her six-year-old son when he desperately tried to get back in the car and struck his head when he was dragged as she drove away
Brittany Gosney pled guilty to murder and two felony counts of child endangerment Monday
On Feb. 26, she left three of her children at a park in Preble County, Ohio. But her six-year-old son James Hutchison grabbed onto the door handle of her van after she drove away from them
She continued her departure and the child fell and fatally hit his head, sustaining a fatal injury
She returned to the park less than an hour later to find James dead, then put the boy’s body in her car and returned home with the other two children
Two days later her boyfriend James Hamilton, 43, allegedly helped her dump the weighed down body in the Ohio River
Gosney and Hamilton were indicted together on 31 charges relating to the kids
She faces 15 years to life in prison for murder and 36 months for each child endangerment charge at sentencing scheduled for Sept. 13
Hamilton is set to face a jury trial over his role, beginning Oct. 4
Although James’ body still has not been found, Hamilton is still facing 15 charges for corpse abuse, tampering with evidence, endangering children, kidnapping and abduction
An Ohio mother-of-four has admitted to abandoning three of her young children in a park and killing the youngest son when he desperately tried to get back in her car and was dragged as she drove away.
Brittany Gosney of Middletown pled guilty to two counts of endangering children and one count of unclassified murder on Monday.
Prosecutors said Gosney, 29, brought three of her children to a park in Preble County on February 26, with the intention of abandoning them. As she sped away from the kids her six-year-old son, James Hutchinson, grabbed for the car door handle and fell, suffering a fatal blow to the head.
Gosney returned to the park 40 minutes later to find the boy dead. She then took his body, and her other two kids aged seven and nine, home.
Two days later Gosney’s boyfriend, 43-year-old James Hamilton, allegedly helped her dump the child in the Ohio River, weighted down with a concrete block.
Gosney is due back in Butler County Court for sentencing on September 13.
She faces 15 years to life in prison for murder and 36 months for each child endangerment charge.
‘I think she obviously understands the significance of the decisions she made,’ defense attorney David Washington told WLWT on Monday.
‘I think that she’s going to have to deal with this the rest of her life and her children are going to have to deal with it the rest of their lives.’
Gosney initially faced 16 felony charges related to involuntary manslaughter and multiple counts of endangering children, abduction and kidnapping.
She originally entered a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity in April. However, subsequent to court ordered psychological evaluation, she was deemed fit to stand trial.
After bringing James’ body home Gosney held it in a spare room for two days before dumping it in the Ohio River near Lawrenceburg, Indiana, with the help of her boyfriend Hamilton, prosecutors said.
A concrete block was used to weigh the boy’s body down as is body was thrown into the river, according to WXIX.
Nearly six months later James’ body still has not been found.
A memorial was held for James in front of his former home as the Middletown community honored him with balloons and stuffed animals.
The reasoning behind the children’s abandonment was based on pressure from Hamilton and she previously attempted to relinquish custody of them with no success, prosecutors said.
The couple were previously indicted together earlier this year on a 31-count charge, 18 of them relating to an incident in which one of Hutchinson’s siblings was hog-tied.
‘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, according to WLBT.
Hamilton also appeared in court and still faces 15 charges for corpse abuse, tampering with evidence, endangering children, kidnapping and abduction. .
Hamilton has entered a not guilty plea to the judge and is due to appear in court again later this month with a jury trial also scheduled for October 4 if he does not take the plea.
He is currently being held on a $750,000 bond.
The other children were removed from the home and were placed in foster care or with Child Services, according to authorities.
Posts from Gosney’s multiple Facebook accounts indicate that she has four children: two daughters and two sons. Gosney described herself on social media as ‘Full Time Mommy!’ and regularly shared photos of her smiling children and Hamilton, whom she referred to as her ‘husband’ and her ‘everything.’
Butler County Prosecutor Mike Gmoser said in a statement: ‘She gave up the right to be called anything but a defendant in this office – not mom or mother.’
When it comes to the guilty plea, Gmoser said Monday he believes justice was served.
“It absolutely is justice. When you have accountability for the principle charge, the most that could have happened was the charge she pled guilty to. That is justice for this child,” Gmoser said.
Several searches have taken place on the Ohio River over the several few months in hopes of recovering James’ body. So far, no search has successfully detected any sign of James.’ Sonar crews thought they had detected a body earlier this year, but it turned out to be a branch: “We thought we had a body it’s unfortunate that it wasn’t. We’re still looking, they’re still going to continue to do that and I hope they do but the conditions are extreme,” Gmoser said.
When asked if he believed James’ body is in the river Gmoser said, “I absolutely believe this child is in the river for the reasons that will become clear later and ill be happy to discuss that at a later time.”
Referencing the atmospheric conditions of the river over the past year, he said visibility has made it difficult to work effectively