Jane Shine admits she shot Eric James four times with her .38 caliber handgun. She felt like she didn't have any other choice.
The seven-man, seven-woman jury empaneled at the Jasper County Courthouse on Thursday heard that admission from the Newton woman as testimony began in her attempted murder trial.
State prosecutors played a 35-minute DVD recording of Shine's interview with Lt. Wes Breckenridge at the Newton Police Department shortly after the shooting on the morning of July 14, 2012 at the eastside Newton home James shared with Shine's daughter, Danielle, and their children.
Shine, who appears cooperative and lucid in retelling the events surrounding the shooting in the interview, relates to the officer how her daughter broke her neck in a 2002 car accident that left her a quadriplegic. While at Lutheran Hospital in Des Moines immediately after the accident, Shine first learns that her daughter is living with James and pregnant with his child, a situation she "was not happy" about.
"I told her to get away from this jerk," Shine says in the recording, noting further that she investigated James' past and found several drug-related run-ins with the law.
Shine goes on to state that "everything was OK" over the ensuing years and that James and her daugther stayed together.
"He swore he was off drugs and wanted to take care of his son and Danielle," Shine says in the recording.
A few months before the shooting, however, the situation changed, Shine tells the Newton officer.
"A couple months ago, he started acting different," Shine said. "I thought he was back on meth, but I had no proof."
In the weeks leading up to the shooting, Shine told police that she had been hearing from others of suspicions that James was again using methamphetamine. In addition, reports circulated back to her of James' alleged poor treatment of her daughter and their children, though she again had not seen anything personally. Reports that James was in possession of a 9 mm handgun and had placed to Danielle's head were also made, again without her personal observation.
On the evening of July 11, Shine said she and her husband, Dan, received a call at home from Danielle stating that a Newton Police Officer and a Department of Human Services social worker were at the home.
The police officer wanted to search the garage, but James would not allow without a sewarrant, Shine says in the recording. James also would not agree to providing a urine analysis to the social worker.
Following discussions with the DHS worker that evening, it was agreed that Danielle Shine and her children would not be left alone with James without the presence of others as a safety precaution until a finding on the allegation could be completed. Shine's husband agreed to spend the night at his daughter's home that Wednesday night, and did so again Thursday. A future urine analysis for James was set.
On Friday night, July 13, both Jane Shine and Dan Shine stayed their daughter's residence. Again the DHS and police were contacted in regard to allegations of James' drug use. Alternatives to keeping James away from the family were discussed but without concrete proof of drug usage options were limited.
"The DHS and cops said they won't do anything without proof," she said. "The told us to get a restraining order but it's not worth the paper it's printed on. Danielle was scared to death of him ever since he got back on meth. He screams and wigs out. I've not seen it, but he's burned out on that meth crap."
In the interview, Shine tells Lt. Breckenridge that she saw James bring a 9 mm handgun into the house and go into his bedroom that evening. She was worried, she told the officer. She brought her .38 caliber from home.
Shine says in the interview that she "stayed up all night" wondering what she could do to get James out of the house.
"I didn't want him to make my daughter and my grandkids another statistic," Shine said in the interview. "I didn't want him to allow him to come out blazing and kill the whole family. I couldn't think of any way out of this."
She told the officer that her daughter had become
Shine told the officer that she tried "to think of some way" she "wouldn't have to do this," noting that she "started to once before" but sat down because she was "not that way."
As the night turned into Saturday morning, Shine said she realized couldn't "stay up a whole 'nother night worrying" that James would attempt to harm the family.
"I didn't want him to have a chance to get up and start shooting," Shine said. "I felt like I didn't have any other choice. I gotta get him first."
Shine went to the bedroom where James lay sleeping Saturday morning and opened the door. She shot James three times from the doorway hitting him in the neck, shoulder and arm. She turned and walked out and called emergency responders.
While on the phone, an injured James came into the living room where Shine's two young grandchildren, her daughter and her husband had all been sleeping. She shot him again, "because he didn't go down," striking him in the hand.
Breckenridge asked Shine what was her intent?
"To stop him," she said. "I didn't want him to hurt my daughter and grandkids. My intent was to end it; to make it so he never hurt my daughter and grandkids again."
"What would you do in my place?" Shine asked Breckenridge near the conclusion of the interview.