Brittany Gosney, left, allegedly dumped six year-old son James Hutchinson, right, at a beauty spot to please her boyfriend – then dragged the youngster to death when he tried to get back into her car (Pictures: Middletown PD)
A mother has admitted to killing her six-year-old son by dragging him to death as he clung to her car when she tried to abandon him.
Brittany Gosney, 29, of Middletown, Ohio, pleaded guilty to two counts of endangering children and one count of unclassified murder on Monday.
According to prosecutors the mother-of-four took three of her children to a park in Preble County, on February 26, with the intention of abandoning them.
But as she drove away from the kids her son, James Hutchinson, grabbed for the car door handle and fell, suffering a fatal blow to the head.
Gosney is said to be unrepentant about James’s death, according to police (Picture: Middletown PD)
Gosney returned to the park 40 minutes later to find the boy dead, court documents state, adding that she then took his body, as well as her other two kids aged seven and nine, to the family’s home.
Two days later Gosney’s boyfriend, 43-year-old James Hamilton, allegedly helped Gosney dump the child in the Ohio River, weighted down with a concrete block.
Gosney is due back in Butler County Court for sentencing on September 13.
She faces anywhere between 15 years to life in prison for murder and 36 months for each child endangerment charge.
‘I think she obviously understands the significance of the decisions she made’, defense attorney David Washington told WLWT.
‘I think that she’s going to have to deal with this the rest of her life and her children are going to have to deal with it the rest of their lives.’
When the police investigation into six-year-old James’s sad death began, Gosney initially faced 16 felony charges related to involuntary manslaughter and multiple counts of endangering children, abduction and kidnapping.
She originally pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity in April but was deemed mentally fit to stand in court following a psychological evaluation.
Gosney pleaded guilty on Monday (Picture: Middletown PD)
According to investigators, Gosney held James’s body in a spare room for two days before dumping it in the Ohio River near Lawrenceburg, Indiana.
Nearly six months later and after extensive police searches, James’s body has still not been found.
The reasoning behind the children’s abandonment was blamed on pressure placed on Gosney from Hamilton, prosecutors said. She had previously attempted to relinquish custody of them with no success.
The couple were previously indicted together earlier this year on a 31-count charge, 18 of them relating to an incident in which one of James’s siblings was hog-tied.
Speaking to WLBT, assistant prosecutor Kelly Heile said: ‘We have two living children who have already been through trauma that no child should ever experience and this guilty plea prevents them from going through further trauma, at least as it relates to a case against their mother.’
Hamilton also appeared in court and still faces 15 charges for corpse abuse, tampering with evidence, endangering children, kidnapping and abduction.
He plead not guilty to the judge and is due to appear in court again later this month with a jury trial also scheduled for October 4 if he does not take the plea.
Hamilton is currently being held on a $750,000 bond.
Gosney allegedly tried to abandon James and his two siblings at the behest of lover James Hamilton, pictured (Picture: Middletown PD)
The other children were removed from the home and were placed in foster care or with Child Services, according to authorities.
Gosney described herself on social media as ‘Full Time Mommy!’ and regularly shared photos of her smiling children and Hamilton, whom she referred to as her ‘husband’ and her ‘everything’.
Butler County Prosecutor Mike Gmoser said in a statement: ‘She gave up the right to be called anything but a defendant in this office – not mom or mother.’
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