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Writer applauds jury’s decision

To the editor: I want to express my respect for the persons on the six-member jury who held firm in their conviction that no crime was committed when little Christian “CJ” got out of his home and drowned in Crooked River. This loss was a terrible tragedy for CJ’s mother, Melissa, his grandparents, the rest of his family, and for all of us in this community. To charge Melissa with neglect, when she sincerely believed that she had provided for her beloved son’s safety, is a misuse of our court system. I was appalled last December to read that the Crook County District Attorney justified his accusation by comparing Melissa to a negligent mother who left her three children in her car while she was getting drunk in a public drinking place. I still feel bewildered that such an inflammatory and prejudicial statement was made by someone involved in the case of little CJ’s tragic drowning —- an accident, not a crime. I feel it was heartless to indict Melissa just before Christmas when she and her family needed that time to work through their grief together. Melissa had done what she could do to protect her precious child. In her book, It Takes A Village, Hillary Clinton would have you believe the village is the government and it takes the government to raise a child. That is not true. The village is the community. We who see and know any child are the ones who must watch for his well-being, who must be role models for him and his family, who must befriend them so we can help if needed. We must be alert so that if a child is observed to be alone we will immediately return him to his mother. May God help us in our busy lives to reach out to neighbors in our community! Leora Egger Prineville