Coffman, boy's case still active

I've been very worried about the fate of the little boy who was (allegedly) injured by James Douglas Coffman back in June. I read the initial story and haven't seen anything else in the paper since. Was the case dismissed? Can you tell me if the little boy is out of the hospital. How he is doing?

— Maggie B. Medford

The state's case against James Douglas Coffman, 25, of Medford, has not been dropped. And the young victim in this case is out of the hospital.

Coffman on July 25 pleaded not guilty to a single charge each of first-, second- and third-degree assault, and a charge of first-degree criminal mistreatment related to injuries sustained by a 4-year-old boy in Coffman's care, Jackson County sheriff's deputies said.

Coffman's multiple charges stem from an investigation into a June 5 report of an injured child. Deputies responded to the 160 block of Northridge Terrace early that evening after a 911 call was placed on behalf of the injured 4-year-old, said Sgt. Nate Sickler. The child's paternal grandfather stopped at the residence to check on the little boy, who was discovered unresponsive with head trauma and other injuries. The investigation showed the child had been in the care of Coffman, who is not related to the boy, Sickler said.

The investigation also determined that the boy had received multiple injuries that could have occurred over a two-week period, he said. There was no evidence that medical care was ever sought for the child by the suspect or the child's mother, who was in jail on unrelated charges during Coffman's investigation, Sickler said.

The child initially was taken to Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center before being transported to Doernbecher Children's Hospital for further treatment because of the serious nature of the injuries, he said.

Jackson County prosecutor Terry Smith-Norton said the boy was returned to Asante, and has since been released from the hospital. It is unknown at this time if he will have any lasting effects from his injuries, she said.

During the investigation, Coffman was found to be in possession of heroin, and charged. He pleaded not guilty to that charge on July 25, as well.

Coffman's bail was originally set at more than $2 million on June 24.

It was reduced to $100,000 later that week in court. Coffman made bail and has been out of jail since late June. He has a pretrial hearing slated for Aug. 26.


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