BUTLER COUNTY, Ohio (FOX19) - A Butler County judge released on Monday the psychological evaluation of a Middletown mother found competent to stand trial in connection with the death of her 6-year-old son.
Brittany Gosney, 29, confessed to police that she killed James Hutchinson on Feb. 26 as he tried to get back into her minivan when she abandoned him and his two siblings, 9 and 7, at a Preble County park, Middletown police said.
A judge ordered a psychological evaluation for Gosney after she tried to change her plea to pursue an insanity defense.
The evaluator wrote:
“Ms. Gosney’s thoughts were logical and coherent, suggesting that she is currently capable of testifying relevantly, if necessary. The defendant was clearly motivated for a favorable outcome, as she indicated that she hopes to avoid a lengthy period of incarceration. Ms. Gosney behaved appropriately during the current assessment, suggesting that she is capable of doing the same in a courtroom setting. She was also psychiatrically stable, suggesting that she is capable of tolerating the stress of a trial.”
During the course of the evaluation, Gosney said that her parents separated when she was a child, and then she went to live with her father and his girlfriend.
Gosney told the evaluator that she was removed from her father’s home at the age of 12 by Hamilton County Job & Family Services.
She said she was placed in foster and group homes in Kentucky and Ohio until she was emancipated at age 18.
Gosney told the evaluator she gave birth to four children, the first at age 12 when she says she was sexually abused.
She gave the first child up for adoption.
Gosney told the evaluator that she tried to look into options to relinquish her parental rights and give up Hutchinson and his siblings but she was met with “barriers”.
She said that Butler County Job & Family Services had never been involved with her before she was charged although they now have custody of her 9 and 7-year-old children.
Gosney and her boyfriend James Hamilton face a 31-county indictment in connection with Hutchinson’s death.
Gosney told the evaluator that she and Hamilton are still in a romantic relationship despite their circumstances and lack of communication from him.
FOX19 NOW legal analyst Mike Allen said little from the report will likely be used during her murder trial.
“I don’t ever remember a case in a trial, where something from the competency report was used,” Allen said. “Where it will come in handy, though, is in sentencing. It gives the judge an idea of what this person is all about. So, it would be relevant for sentencing purposes.”
Allen explained there are differences between competency and insanity, they are not interchangeable.
“Two separate things: The first thing that you talked about is competency. And that’s knowing the roles of the people in the courtroom judge, prosecutor defense counsel, insanity is a different matter where you accurately stated that it’s a right-wrong test,” Allen explained. “And basically, you have to know what’s right and what’s wrong. It’s a defense that’s rarely used. And when it is used, it’s even less rarely granted.”
Gosney and Hamilton have both waived their right to a speedy trial and are scheduled to return to court on May 24.
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