Oregon woman charged in her son's drowning

August 10, 2005
Manslaughter charged in local toddler's death
Mail Tribune

A Medford woman whose 2-year-old son drowned in a backyard swimming
pool in May has been charged with manslaughter.

Grand jurors indicted Jessica Jean Shine, 28, on a charge of
second-degree manslaughter. Prosecutors alleged that she negligently
caused the death of James Russell Shine, who fell into an above- ground
pool at the family's Midway Road home on May 3.

James was unattended when he drowned in about two feet of water after
apparently climbing the pool's 3-foot-high side, investigators said.
It's unclear how long the toddler was in the water before Jessica
Shine called 9-1-1 and reported he was unconscious and not breathing.

A set of wooden stairs were found lying on the ground near the pool
when police arrived, said Medford police Lt. Tim George. A wooden deck
had been built around one side of the pool, George added.

James died at Doernbecher Children's Hospital in Portland three days
after his fall into the pool. He was flown to Portland after initially
being hospitalized at Rogue Valley Medical Center. Emergency medical
workers attempted to revive him at the scene.

Several people were home at the time of the drowning, but only Jessica
Shine has been charged with a crime, said Matt Chancellor, deputy
district attorney for Jackson County.

"She's the legal guardian of the kid, and it's her duty to watch
the kid," Chancellor said.

The toddler's drowning is the third in less than a year to result in
criminal charges against local parents.

Crystal Ann Delap, 26, and her boyfriend, 52-year-old Steven John Hunt,
are set to stand trial on Dec. 13 for the death of Delap's 2-year-old
son, Stephen Randolph Horvath. The boy drowned Sept. 3 in an
above-ground pool at Hunt's Sams Valley home.

Kayla Christine LeMaster, 23, of Grants Pass, was sentenced to
probation in May after pleading guilty to criminally negligent homicide
in the death of her 13-month-old daughter, Janayah. The girl drowned
Oct. 5 in a fountain at Callahan's Lodge - south of Ashland off
Interstate 5 - after LeMaster fell asleep on the inn's lawn.

Indicted on Thursday, Shine is set to hear the charges against her on
Tuesdayin Jackson County Circuit Court.


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