Community continuing to honor, remember slain 6-year-old boy

Community continuing to honor, remember slain 6-year-old boy

MIDDLETOWN, Ohio (FOX19) - Still trying to come to grips with the tragic death of a 6-year-old boy, the community is using its grief to create positive action.

It has been more than a week since the death of James Hutchinson, 6, was announced by police.

A memorial has continued to grow outside the home where the Rosa Parks Elementary student lived since his death was reported.

Like Rosa Parks Elementary Principal Tracy Neeley said, sometimes it takes a tragedy to bring out the best in people.

The days without James in school have been difficult, Neeley said.

Not only does she miss him, but so do his friends in class.

It has been inspiring to see the outpouring of support from near and far, Neeley explained.

“We’re so, so grateful Mason City Schools offered their therapy dogs to our building last week,” Neeley said. “Indian Hill reached out to provide food for the staff. Domino’s Pizza has offered pizza parties just for our students. Midpoint Library system has reached out a free little lending library in James’ honor.”

Principal Neeley said the best way for people to honor James is by donating to the trust fund created by the city, police, and school district.

All of the money donated through the fund will go to James’ surviving siblings.

Neeley said a permanent memorial honoring James is also in the works. The hope is to unveil that sometime around summer.

Accused in James’ murder is his mother, 29-year-old Brittany Gosney.

Gosney was indicted March 5 after Middletown police say she admitted to investigators that she killed her 6-year-old son and dumped his body in the Ohio River.

Her boyfriend, 42-years-old James Hamilton, was also indicted on charges related to the boy’s death.

Both Gosney and Hamilton pleaded not guilty on Monday.

Some in the community have questioned why Gosney isn’t facing the death penalty.

The reason is the indicted charges don’t meet the requirement defined by law for a death penalty case.

Mike Allen, FOX19 NOW Legal Expert, explains.

“People thought when this first happened she [Gosney] on purpose drug the little boy causing his death,” Allen said. “Apparently, that’s not what the evidence is showing. I can only assume that. So, the element of purposely, which is specific intention to create a specific result, apparently that’s not there. And the prosecutor is correct. The only way you can have the death penalty is if it’s aggravated murder.”

The next court date for Gosney and Hamilton is March 22 for pretrial and their anticipated trial date is May 24.

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