Ohio mom pleads guilty to murdering her son, 6, and dumping his body in river

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An Ohio mom charged with murdering her son while trying to abandon him in a wildlife area and running over him when he tried to get back into the car pleaded guilty Monday to murder and two counts of child endangerment.

Brittany Gosney, 29, of Middletown, Ohio, entered her pleas during a court hearing requested by her attorney who was seeking to bar prosecutors from using statements she made to detectives at trial.

James Robert Hutchinson, left, and his mother, Brittany Gosney. 
(Middletown Division of Police)

Gosney was facing 16 counts overall and initially pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. She was found competent to stand trial in April following a court-ordered mental evaluation. The remaining 13 counts were dismissed as part of her plea deal. She faces up to life in prison when she’s sentenced on September 13.

Gosney’s boyfriend, 43-year-old James Hamilton, was also charged in the case and pleaded not guilty to the 15 counts he faces, including abuse of a corpse, evidence tampering and child endangerment. He was due to make a court appearance later Monday, but it wasn’t clear if he would be entering any pleas.

James Hamilton
(Middletown Police Department)

Authorities have said Gosney told investigators that she was under pressure from Hamilton to get rid of 6-year-old James Hutchinson and his two siblings, ages 9 and 7. Gosney drove the three children to the park in late February, where she planned to abandon them, authorities said, but there was no indication that Gosney planned to kill them. Hutchinson died after he grabbed for a door on his mother’s vehicle and was dragged.

Middletown Police Chief David Birk told reporters in March that Gosney’s two other children, who have since been placed in foster care, were inside of the car with her during the incident. 

Gosney and Hamilton dumped James’ body into the Ohio River near Lawrenceburg, Indiana, on Feb. 28, authorities said. Flood conditions initially prevented a search effort there, and the boy’s body has not been recovered despite multiple searches.

Fox News’ David Aaro and The Associated Press contributed to this report

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