Crime And Law

Middletown mother accused of killing son ruled competent to stand trial

HAMILTON — A Middletown mother accused of killing her 6-year-old son, James Hutchinson, and dumping the boy’s body into the Ohio River has been ruled competent to stand trial on murder and other charges.

>>RELATED: Attorney seeks insanity plea for Middletown mother accused in son’s death

Brittany Gosney, 29, was ruled competent to stand trial by Butler County Judge Noah Powers after he reviewed a psychologist report as part of a court-ordered mental evaluation. The evaluation was part of a not guilty by reason of insanity plea that was entered in March by Gosney’s attorney David Washington.

>>Mother, boyfriend accused of killing 6-year-old indicted on 31 felonies

“Defendant struggles to assist in her defense and counsel has serious concerns regarding defendant’s mental health,” Gosney’s attorney David Washington said in the first court document requesting the change to an insanity plea.

>>RELATED: Timeline: How the investigation into James Hutchinson’s death unfolded

However following the ruling Monday, Washington told News Center 7′s John Bedell he plans to withdraw Gosney’s insanity plea based on the results of the psychologist report.

Gosney’s next court appearance is May 24 when the trial is scheduled to begin.

>>Court records: Mother, boyfriend ‘hog-tied’ James Hutchinson, siblings before boy’s death

Gosney is accused of killing Hutchinson while trying to abandon him and his two older siblings at Rush Run Wildlife Area in Preble County in the early morning hours of Feb. 27. Hutchinson suffered a fatal injury when he grabbed onto the vehicle Gosney was driving as she sped away.

>>RELATED: Butler Co. Children Services had no prior contact with James Hutchinson’s family, prosecutors say

According to investigative records, Gosney said she intended to abandon the children after feeling pressure from her boyfriend, James Hamilton, 42, to do so.

After bringing Hutchinson’s body back to Middletown, along with the two other children who were not hurt, Gosney and Hamilton drove to Lawrenceburg, Indiana about 24 hours after the boy died. Investigators said the boy’s body was dumped into the Ohio River from the Carroll Cropper Bridge, the I-275 bridge that crosses the river.

Search crews have so far been unable to recover the boy’s body in the weeks after his death.

Court records also allege Hutchinson and his two siblings were hog-tied and tortured in the hours before Gosney drove them to Preble County with the intention of abandoning them. They were left in that position for hours and “with purpose to terrorize and/or inflict serious physical harm,” prosecutors allege.

Additionally, investigators allege after Hutchinson’s death, Gosney and Hamilton tied a concrete block to the boy’s body when then dumped it in the Ohio River.

We’ll continue to update this story as developments are released.