Ohio mother pleads guilty to murdering 6-year-old son

Posted at 7:45 AM, August 17, 2021 and last updated 12:22 AM, December 13, 2022

By Mariel Carbone

HAMILTON, Ohio (WCPO) — The Middletown woman accused of killing her 6-year-old son and dumping his body in the Ohio River pleaded guilty to murder Monday morning.

Middletown police said Brittany Gosney confessed to killing James Hutchinson, a first-grader at Rosa Parks Elementary, as he clung to her minivan when she attempted to abandon him and his two siblings, Rachel and Lucas, at Rush Run Wild Life Area in Preble County on Feb. 26.

(L) Brittany Gosney, (R) James Hutchinson (Middleton Division of Police)

Butler County Prosecutor Michael Gmoser held a news conference late Monday morning.

“A guilty plea eliminates all doubts of accident or any other defense,” he told reporters. “The defense, by her admission and by her plea, says essentially, ‘I give up. I admit I am accountable.'”

In addition to the one count of murder, Gosney also pleaded guilty to two counts of endangering children.

Gmoser said the additional charges involved “these children [being] hog-tied with rags stuffed in their mouths and left alone for considerable amount of time.”

Search crews have spent months searching river areas in Southwest Ohio and Southeast Indiana looking for the boy’s body, which was still missing as of Monday.

Gosney is due again in court for sentencing on Sept. 13. Gmoser said she faces life in prison with the possibility of parole only available after 21 years if she receives the maximum sentence on all charges.

After initially pleading non-guilty to the multiple charges on reason of insanity, a judge’s ruling in April found Gosney fit to stand trial.

Police also accused Gosney’s boyfriend, James Hamilton, in connection with the boy’s death and faces multiple charges similar to Gosney’s. He is due in Butler County court on Aug. 23 to enter a plea and/or set a trial date.

This story was originally published August 16, 2021, by WCPO in Cincinnati, an E.W. Scripps Company.