Mother charged with murdering James Hutchinson, 6, to seek insanity defense

Suspects accused of murdering James Hutchinson, 6, plead not guilty on all charges
Updated: Mar. 18, 2021 at 9:53 PM EDT
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BUTLER COUNTY, Ohio (FOX19) - The Middletown woman charged with murder in the death of her 6-year-old is seeking the insanity defense, according to newly filed court records.

Brittany Gosney “struggles to assist in her defense and counsel has serious concerns regarding (her) mental health,” her lawyer, David Washington Jr., wrote in a motion for not guilty by reason of insanity.

It was not immediately clear Thursday when her competency would be evaluated and then considered during a hearing in Butler County Common Pleas Court.

Criminal defense attorney Mark Krumbein says both sides will look at Gosney’s mental health history, including whether she’s taken certain medications.

“And if there’s not a strong background, and if the defense can’t find a doctor to say that she’s insane, then she’s really in huge trouble as far as the defense is concerned.”

Legal expert breaks down 'not guilty by reason of insanity' plea

The 29-year-old woman and her boyfriend James Hamilton, 43, were indicted earlier this month on a combined 31-count indictment for the slaying of James Hutchinson late last month in a rural Preble County park and the disposal of his body in the Ohio River.

Middletown police have said Gosney confessed to killing the first-grader as he tried to get back into her minivan when she abandoned him and his two siblings, 9 and 7, at Rush Run Wild Life Area.

According to a report from the Preble County Sheriff’s Office, Gosney “slammed the gas.” James was dragged for a distance and was run over, investigators said.

Middletown detectives say she told them James was dead when she turned the minivan around to check on him about 30 to 40 minutes later.

She put all three of the children in the van and returned to their Middletown home, where she and Hamilton put Hutchinson’s body in a spare room, authorities say.

On Feb. 28, they drove down Interstate 275 in the van to the Lawrenceburg, Indiana, area and threw the body into the Ohio River, Middletown police have said.

Krumbein says the fact pattern might work against Gosney in court. “WIth the cover-up actions afterwards, it might make people thing that she was sane at the time,” he reasoned.

According to the Preble County Sheriff’s Office report, Gosney told investigators she was under pressure from her boyfriend to get rid of Hutchinson and his siblings.

She is facing charges of murder, involuntary manslaughter and multiple counts of endangering children, gross abuse of a corpse, kidnapping, and abduction.

Hamilton was also indicted for kidnapping, abduction, endangering children, tampering with evidence and gross abuse of a corpse.

Gosney is held in lieu of $2 million bond at the Butler County Jail.

Hamilton’s bond is $750,000.

Their tentative trial date is May 24.

Searchers were on and in the Ohio River Wednesday, working to try to recover James’ body or another small child killed and put into the river, 3-year-old Nylo Lattimore.

Sonar imaging indicated there was a high degree of confidence there was a body below, according to Butler County Prosecutor Mike Gmoser, who was on scene most of the day.

Search operations concluded for the day with neither boy located, Preble County Sheriff Mike Simpson said.

The rapidly moving water made conditions difficult.

It’s not clear when the search will resume with severe weather chances later Thursday.

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Suspects accused of murdering James Hutchinson, 6, plead not guilty on all charges

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