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Mother whose son drowned will ask for home detention

A Medford mother with a criminal record of child abuse and drug use might serve no jail time for the drowning death of her 2-year-old son.

Jessica Jean Shine, 29, was sentenced Friday in Jackson County Circuit Court to six months in custody on her conviction of criminally negligent homicide. However, Shine planned to apply for home detention, her attorney, David Orf, told the court.

Shine's son, James Russell Shine, was pulled unconscious May — from an above-ground pool at his grandparent's Midway Road home. The toddler was not supervised when he apparently climbed the backyard pool's 3-foot-high side, fell in and drowned in about 2 feet of water, investigators said. A set of wooden stairs was found lying on the ground near the pool when police arrived.

It's unclear how long her son was in the water before Shine called 9-1-1. James died at Doernbecher Children's Hospital in Portland three days later. Shine pleaded no contest to the crime in January. A plea of no contest has the same legal effect as a guilty plea.

— Suspected criminal conduct continues to plague the same Midway house ' owned by Edward and Lana Niquette ' which Shine previously listed as her address. Police on Wednesday arrested three people and seized computer equipment believed to be used to counterfeit U.S. currency. Shine was not charged in that case.

If sent to jail, the term will be Shine's second for a crime against one of her children. Police reported in 1994 that Shine's infant daughter was hospitalized after apparently being shaken. Shine was convicted of first-degree criminal mistreatment. Two years later, she was sentenced to probation for possessing meth.

A civil suit is pending in James' drowning. The boy's father, Michael Shine, alleges that Jessica Shine and the Niquettes are responsible for his son's wrongful death. He is seeking a judgment of &

36;2 million against them.

James' drowning was one of three similar cases in less than a year to result in criminal charges against local parents.

Steven John Hunt, 53, awaits an April trial on manslaughter charges in connection with the Sept. 3, 2004, drowning of 2-year-old Stephen Randolph Horvath in an above-ground pool at his Sams Valley home. The boy's mother, 26-year-old Crystal Ann Delap, pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide but has not been sentenced.

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, 2004, in a fountain at Callahan's Lodge ' south of Ashland off Interstate 5 ' after LeMaster fell asleep on the inn's lawn.

Reach reporter Sarah Lemon at 776-4487, or e-mail Mother whose son drowned will ask for home detention"slemon@mailtribune.com.