Man pleads guilty to multiple felonies in death of 6-year-old James Hutchinson

Posted at 7:11 AM, August 25, 2021 and last updated 12:22 AM, December 13, 2022

By Evan Millward

HAMILTON, Ohio — The man implicated in the death of an Ohio 6-year-old earlier this year pleaded guilty to multiple felonies Tuesday in Butler County Court.

Police accused James Hamilton and Brittany Gosney of dozens of crimes in connection with the Feb. 27 death of Gosney’s son, James Hutchinson. After dragging the boy behind their car in an attempt to abandon him in a Preble County wilderness area, police said, Hamilton and Gosney dumped his body in the Ohio River.

As part of a plea deal, Hamilton pleaded guilty to one count of kidnapping, two counts of child endangering and one count of gross abuse of a corpse.

Tuesday’s hearing came one week after Gosney pleaded guilty to murder in the boy’s death.

Nearly six months after Hutchinson’s death, rescue crews still have not recovered his body from the Ohio River.

“One of the challenges in this case…is convincing the general public that the horrific nature of these crimes was actually possible,” said Butler County Prosecutor Michael Gmoser in a briefing following Tuesday’s hearing.

“It happened because of evil,” he said. “When he threw his body in the Ohio River, that is the act of a calculated monster.”

Hamilton’s wife, Priscilla Hamilton, was in court Tuesday. She said she’s heartbroken by what happened but added that her husband is more than a “monster.”

“I don’t believe it was all on him,” she said. “He’s not the monster everyone’s making him out to be. He’s really not.”

A judge will sentence Hamilton at a hearing scheduled for Oct. 4.

This story was originally published August 24, 2021, by WCPO in Cincinnati, an E.W. Scripps Company.