Tapes: Fatal abandonment of James Hutchinson was 'scare tactic' — one of many — used by guardians

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Posted at 6:49 PM, Sep 28, 2021

Brittany Gosney’s attempted abandonment of her three children at Rush Run Park had been intended as a “scare tactic,” boyfriend James Hamilton told police after her son’s death.

Six-year-old James Hutchinson didn’t survive it. He was run over while attempting to hang onto his mother’s car as she drove away on Feb. 27.

“She was supposed to take them up there, give them a scare tactic,” Hamilton told police in newly released interviews. “Drop them off for a few minutes. All the sudden, she calls me and tells me he's dead. Who's dead? And she tells me James was chasing after her and that he tripped and fell and hit his head."

Hamilton, who had come to police to report the boy missing, feigned concern for hours of questioning.

Tapes released by the Butler County prosecutor’s office show his story starts with claims that he is frantically looking for Hutchinson and ends with Hamilton admitting that the boy has been dead for days.

The abandonment at Rush Run was the last in an escalating series of abusive discipline tactics that had also included forcing the children to walk on tiptoes and hogtying them in their home for hours at a time, he said. Hamilton described the three children as “always acting up,” forcing him and Gosney to attempt extreme correction.

He told police he helped Gosney dispose of Hutchinson’s body in the Ohio River.

"She wants something to help hold him down in the water,” Hamilton said, describing the scene. “There was a brick tied to his chest."

Hamilton pleaded guilty to kidnapping, child endangering and gross abuse of a corpse in connection to Hutchinson’s death. He’ll be sentenced Oct. 5.

Gosney, Hutchinson’s mother, pleaded guilty to murder. She will spend at least 21 years in prison — possibly her entire life if she is not granted parole.

Hutchinson’s siblings have been placed with other guardians.

His body has not been recovered from the river.