A Middletown man charged with disposing the body of his girlfriend’s 6-year-old son and hog-tying the boy and his siblings is scheduled to be back in Butler County Common Pleas Court today, according to the Journal-News.
James Hamilton, 43, was indicted March 5 along with Brittany Gosney, 29, on a combined 31-count indictment for the slaying of 6-year-old James Hutchinson on Feb. 26 in rural Preble County and the disposal of his body days later in the Ohio River near Lawrenceburg, Ind.
Gosney and Hamilton are facing felony crimes against all three children, including murder, involuntary manslaughter, gross abuse of a corpse and endangering children for Gosney and kidnapping, gross abuse of a corpse, kidnapping and endangering children for Hamilton.
Court documents say Gosney and Hamilton, between Feb. 25 and Feb. 26, made efforts to “hog-tie” the hands and legs of Hutchinson and his siblings, ages 7 and 9, behind their backs and place cloths in their mouths, leaving them in that position for hours.
Middletown police say Gosney confessed to killing Hutchinson, a first-grader at Rosa Parks Elementary, as he clung to her minivan when she attempted to abandon him and his two siblings at Rush Run Wild Life Area. That is alleged to have happened on Feb 26.
Gosney and Hamilton put Hutchinson’s body in a spare room under a window at their Crawford Street home, they told police. At about 3 a.m. on Feb. 28, they drove down Interstate 275 in the van to the Lawrenceburg, Indiana, area and threw the body into the Ohio River, according to police.
Hutchinson’s body was left in the house for almost 48 hours, and a concrete block was tied to his body before it was tossed in the river, according to court documents.
Both Gosney and Hamilton are in jail, so they must be tried within 90 days, according to Ohio law, unless they waive their right to a speedy trial.
Neither Gosney nor Hamilton have waived those rights. At arraignment, Judge Noah Powers II set the trial for both on May 24, but that will likely change.
“I do not anticipate this case going to trial in May,” said attorney David Washington, who represents Gosney.
Because Gosney has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity and Washington has raised questions about her competency to stand trial, the 90-day “try by” clock is no longer ticking for her. Last month, during pre-trial hearing, Powers ordered a psychological evaluation for Gosney. A competency evaluation hearing is set for April 26.
“I first have to make sure she understands what is happening before I suggest anything to her,” Washington said.
Hamilton’s attorney, Jeremy Evans, could not be reached for comment.
Powers set bond at $2 million for Gosney and $750,000 for Hamilton.