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James Hamilton sentenced to 15 years in death of Middletown boy

Hamilton pleaded guilty to four felonies in August
James Hamilton awaits sentence
Posted at 1:31 PM, Oct 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-05 13:31:19-04

HAMILTON, Ohio — James Hamilton was sentenced to a minimum 15 years in prison on Tuesday for his role in the death and cover-up of 6-year-old James Hutchinson.

Hamilton pleaded guilty in August to four felonies related to the death of the 6-year-old. Hamilton helped Brittany Gosney, the boy's mother, dispose of his body in the Ohio River after his murder in February. Gosney pleaded guilty to one count of murder and two counts of endangering children in August. She was given a life sentence in September, with the possibility of parole after 21 years.

WCPO: Man pleads guilty to four felonies for role in murder of 6-year-old

After giving Hamilton his sentence, Judge Powers said of his actions, "Despicable ... (and had) a difficult time even conceiving someone could do something like this."

Powers said his sentence has a potential of up to 19 years served: Eight to 12 years for kidnapping, 36 months for each of two counts of child endangering and 12 months for gross abuse of a corpse. Hamilton will get credit for 219 days served.

Hamilton, 43, and Gosney, 29, were indicted in March on a combined 31 counts for Hutchinson's death in rural Preble County. They disposed of his body days later in the Ohio River near Lawrenceburg, Indiana.

Hutchinson's death was a tragic for the Middletown community. Staffers from Rosa Parks Elementary School, where he was a first-grader, attended Gosney's sentencing, as well as officers who had worked on his case. Donations were collected to build a memorial bench for Hutchinson at Rosa Parks.

Middletown Police Chief David Birk told WCPO the case had took a toll on the department, with one of the detectives on the case returning to patrol duty because of the difficult nature of the case.

"Going through what happened here, it was the straw that broke the camel's back," Birk said in August. "It really takes its toll on officers."

Gosney hog-tied two of Hutchinson's siblings, then attempted to abandon them in Rush Run Wildlife Area in Preble County along with Hutchinson. Hutchinson died while trying to hang on to Gosney's minivan as she sped away.