MIDDLETOWN, Ohio (AP) — Bail has been set at $2 million for the mother of a 6-year-old boy who police say died when she tried to abandon him and his two older siblings at a park and drive away but he grabbed for a door and was dragged.
Brittany Gosney, 29, of Middletown, pleaded not guilty during her arraignment Monday to 16 counts, including murder, corpse abuse and endangering children.
Her 42-year-old boyfriend, James Hamilton, also pleaded not guilty to the 15 counts he faces, including abuse of a corpse, evidence tampering and child endangerment.
Bail for Hamilton was set at $750,000.
Both he and Gosney were represented by court-appointed attorneys who did not comment on the charges their clients face.
Prosecutors say it’s not clear if the couple will be tried together.
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 on Feb. 26, where she planned to abandon them, authorities said, but there’s no indication that Gosney planned to kill them.
Gosney and Hamilton dumped James’ body into the Ohio River near Lawrenceburg, Indiana, on Feb. 28, authorities have said.
Flood conditions initially prevented a search effort there, and authorities did not find him during searches last weekend.
Authorities say the boy’s two older siblings were now in the custody of child welfare officials.