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Manslaughter charged in local toddler's death

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. — 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.

Reach reporter Sarah Lemon at 776-4487, or e-mail Manslaughter charged in local toddler's death"slemon@mailtribune.com.