Thursday, January 20, 2011

Lance's Speeding and Drunk Driving Arrest

On 11-9-02, at approximately 2035 hours, I, Sgt. Leabo, was stationary at Main and Fowler. I observed a vehicle was traveling at 38 MPH in a 30 zone. I pulled my patrold car out behind the vehicle and activated my emergency lights. The vehicle stopped at approximately  1 1/4 mile west of town on Hwy 62. I called the dispatcher and informed him of the stop and my location. I exited my patrol car and approached the driver and informed the verification. The driver was identified as Raymond Briggs. I then returned to my patrol car and ask the dispatcher to check the status of Briggs' DL number. The dispatcher informed me that Briggs' license was valid. Officer Combs, Meeker #5 then notified me that we had a warrant on Briggs that had not been placed on the warrant list. Officer Combs then informed me that he was at the Meeker Police apartment and that there was a warrant on Briggs. I then exited my vehicle and approached Briggs. I asked Briggs to step out of his vehicle and I informed him that Meeker had a warrant for his arrest and he was being placed under arrest for that warrant. I then placed him in double locked handcuffs and secured him in my patrol car. I then called the dispatcher and asked him to send the next wrecker to my location. I then completed an impoundment record on Briggs' vehicle and waited for the wrecker. Russell's Wrecker arrived and impounded the vehicle. I then transported Briggs to Meeker Police Department and pick up a copy of the warrant. I then transported Briggs to Lincoln County Jail, booked and jailed him for the Municiple Warrant #01-341-342-343-344. Briggs, while in route to Lincoln County Jail made many verbal threats towards my family and me.

End of Report

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Raye's Letter to Lawmakers

My name is Raye Dawn Smith and my daughter was Kelsey Shelton Smith-Briggs, the beautiful two year old little girl that was killed by her stepfather on October 11, 2005 in Meeker, Oklahoma. I have been wrongfully convicted of enabling child abuse, because the District Attorney Richard Smothermon has made the statement that I "should have known". Not that I knew anything but I "should have known". So many things went wrong in my case and they continue to go wrong to this day. I am trying to reach out to anyone who will listen to me and read the information available on my website

So many lies, stories, and half truths have been told, but very little has been told about what kind of child Kelsey was and no one has ever heard of the wonderful relationship Kelsey and myself had. Just because Richard Smothermon, Patty High (special prosecutor), Kathie Briggs (Kelsey's paternal grandmother), Mike Porter (stepfather), and/or the media say something doesn't make it true. This is who Kelsey and I were…

Kelsey was born on December 28, 2002 at 10:00pm, nineteen inches long, seven pounds with a head full of black hair and olive skin. She was always a happy baby and we were together all the time. She sucked her thumb until one day she broke herself when she decided she didn't need that comfort anymore. She did everything early, from sleeping all the way through the night, to crawling, to walking, to talking. She was a very busy baby, but a very good baby. Did I mention well-mannered and very independant? She would tell you "God bless you" if you sneezed. If she was trying to get past someone and it was a tight squeeze she would say, "Cuse (Excuse) me" and if anyone tried to help her do something she would say, "No, I do it." Everything Kelsey did was an event to me. I would call my mom and my grandma almost every day at their places of work just to tell them something Kelsey did or said througout the day. We would watch movies together, dance together, go shopping together, sleep together, and some days until noon, put puzzles together, color together and we even made a cake together. In 2005, we made a stawberry shortcake together with strawberry icing and sprinkles. I helped her with the icing but she had a big time shaking the sprinkles all over the cake. I can still see the look on her face smiling from ear to ear, clapping her hands when I clapped with her and told her, "Good job!" October 10, 2005, the day before my entire life turned upside down, Kelsey and I were sitting in the truck waiting on our new furniture at Mathis Brothers. Kelsey was in the backseat in her carseat and she began counting 1, 2, 3,…and when she got to ten she kept going, 11, 12, 13, 14, and then stopped. I had never heard her count that high before, and when I turned around and looked at her in amazement, she just smiled as big as ever with a look on her face as if thinking, "You didn't know I could do that, did you?" She could always make me smile and made me proud every day.

When my mom had Kelsey in her care all of May and part of June 2005, she made a statement my mom says she will never forget. My mom and Kelsey were taking the trash down through the pasture to the dump when Kelsey reached down to the radio knob, turned it on, and said, "I haffa (have to) hear good music." Laughing, my mom asked her, "What do you know about good music? Your momma has spoiled you rotten." Kelsey just smiled at her, knowing she had made a funny. Although Kelsey was only two and a half years old, I think back on her short life, and we did a lot together. From hanging out watching movies, her favorite being Shrek, to going through a cave in Branson, Missouri, to going down the water slides together at White Water and eating crawfish and crablegs. The memories make me smile and laugh everyday, but some days are a lot harder than others. Even though the memories are great, we were ripped of many years to come. I think about the things we were able to do, but not without thinking about the things we will never be able to do. I will never see her tie her own shoe, ride a bicycle with or without training wheels, go to her first day of kindergarten, graduate from the eighth grade, go on her first date. I will never be able to teach her to drive a car, teach her to put makeup on, take her shopping for her prom dress and her wedding dress…I will never see my baby grow up.

April 11, 2008, my son turned two and my daughter has now been gone for two years and six months, and to this day there is not a day that goes by that I don't talk about her or think about her. It will be this way for the rest of my life. I watch mothers here at the prison on visitation day play and laugh with their daughters and hug and kiss them hello and goodbye, and I think of how I would give up anything this world has to offer to do all those things with Kelsey one more time. I pray to God all of those mothers know how lucky they are and that they never take one day for granted. In court and out of court, lies have been twisted and stories have been stretched, but one thing they can't twist or take away are the memories, because those are mine and they can't take away the truth of who we were.

I was silent for almost two years because I was advised by my attorney not to make any statement and besides that, a gag order was in place. Trying to follow the rules and the law, it doesn't take a genius to see where it got me. Kathie Briggs, Kelsey's paternal grandmother, had a website up within about a week of Kelsey's death, stating that it was Kelsey's purpose to be abused and murdered to bring awareness about child abuse in the state of Oklahoma. She passed out stickers with slapped across them, a bash board in my name was put on the web. Harassing phone calls with a baby crying in the background were made to my grandma, Mildred Fowler. A harassing phone call was made to the church DURING Kelsey's funeral at the Meeker Assembly of God Church. A friend of my mom received phone calls threatening to ruin his real estate business, and his entire neighborhood in Northwest Oklahoma City received a horrible letter in their mailboxes stating that a child abuser, child molester and a child murderer was living in the neighborhood. Kelsey's Purpose signs were put at the entry of our neighborhood with Channel Four's Cherokee Ballard there, as it was aired on the evening news. All of this was handed over to the District Attorney, Richard Smothermon, but not one thing was ever done about it. Protests took place in front of the District Attorney's office with signs stating, "No Deals For Raye Dawn". A petition was even done in order to keep my son away from me when he was born. My son is absolutely no business of Kathie Briggs. There was even a petition to bring charges against me, even though I was working with the District Attorney's office to the fullest extent. There were no protests or petitions about Mike Porter recieving a deal, or about keeping my son away from him - the person whom murdered and sexually assaulted her granddaughter on October 11, 2005. In fact, the Briggs family agreed to the plea bargain of murder and sexual assault being dropped and to him pleading to "Enabling Child Abuse". District Attorney Richard Smothermon exhumed my baby's body to look for sexual assault and then he turned around and dropped it! Do you have any idea what I went through when I was told they were going to do that? Let me tell you, it almost killed me knowing they were going to disturb my daughter's resting place and it will bother me for the rest of my life, even more because now I know they did it for NO reason.

A person may wonder why the Briggs family would be so easy on this sick and twisted person and never speak a negative word about him. I wondered too, but since my trial, I have learned of the resaon why. Seventy-nine days after Kelsey's death, Kathie Briggs and her daughters, Shirica Howard and Jeanna Fowler, began corresponding with Mike Porter through e-mails, discussing the entire case and conspiring together as to how they could get me put into prison. Of course this was a violation of Mike Porter's bond and from the information we were given in court, Richard Smothermon knew of this and also about the Briggs and Porter meeting. Why was Porter not rearrested for his violation? Not only did Kathie Briggs talk to Mike Porter, but she talked to a few witnesses, as is evident in the e-mails between the two and that was a violation of the gag order that was in place. Now I know where some of the lies that were told in court came from.

I testified at Porter's preliminary hearing, not wanting a plea deal in return, because that's not what it was about. That morning before I took the stand, with my attorney by my side, I told Richard Smothermon, "I want you to know that I'm not doing this for you, I'm not doing this for me, I'm doing this for Kelsey." He nodded and said, "I know or we wouldn't be talking." I said, "Well, I just wanted to make sure you knew that." Everything I've done in this case from January 2005, up until now has been for Kelsey. I just wanted to do what I knew was right. I have been told that the reason I'm in prison is because I did do the right things. That just doesn't make sense to me, I was raised to tell the truth and if you didn't do anything wrong, you don't claim that you did. I was offered five years incarceration and five years probation and of course, I refused, but then the day before my trial was over, I was offered a blind plea of spanking Kelsey on a diaper with a hairbrush. I stated, "No, I didn't do it, I won't take it." I never hurt my baby and I didn't sit back and allow someone else to hurt her. How is the District Attorney Richard Smothermon going to tell me that I "should have known?" They wanted to drop the entire case on September 8, 2005. The District Attorney's office, Deparment of Human Services (DHS), Community Home Based Services (CHBS), and Court Appointed Special Advocates(CASA) were all there throughout the entire process, and they didn't know anything either.

During those last nine and a half-to-ten months of Kelsey's life, I did everything that was asked of me and more. If my attorney told me to do something, I did it. If DHS told me to do something, I would. If the judge told me to do something, I did. If anyone of them told me to do something, I would and did. When I asked DHS to tell me all I needed to do to have my daughter returned to me by June, they told me that I wouldn't be able to get it done by then. As much as that upset me, I didn't focus on that, and told them to just tell me what I needed to do and let me worry about that. I just knew I wanted my daughter back as soon as possible. And to everyone's amazement, I accomplished every little thing within about four months. I took a parenting class, a six-week domestic violence class, an anger management class, a domestic violence inventory (DVI) test, and when I completed all of that, they had me take several more evaluations. They were all normal or above. I received certificates for all of this and a letter of recommendations from my counselors, stating I had accomplished all my classes and there was no need to be further counseled.

During all of this my daughter, Kelsey, was being shifted here, there and everywhere. It was extremely hard on her and I could see that. One night in March, 2005, after she got out of her bath, I noticed her hair had fallen out in the back. Being upset, as any mother would be, I rushed her across the street to my grandma, Mildred Fowler, and had her look at Kelsey and take a picture of the bald spot and was asking her what would cause this. Of course she didn't know, but the next morning, I called DHS, my attorney's office, and got her an appointment with Dr. Kelli Koons. They did tests on her, but I have yet to know exactly what caused that, other than probably stress. The doctor told me that Kelsey's hair had indeed just fallen out, because the hair follicles were not raised, as they would be as if she had pulled her hair out. A few days later, I mentioned this to Kathie Briggs and she told me Kelsey was pulling her hair out, and I knew that was not the case, because not only had the doctor told me that, but I had NEVER seen Kelsey pull out anyone's hair, let alone her own. At one visit, Mrs. Briggs sent a cabbage patch doll with Kelsey and said she got the doll for her so she could pull the doll's hair out instead of her own. Flabbergasted, I told her whether she was pulling her hair out or it was just falling out, there was a problem somewhere and we weren't going to just cover it up. Neither DHS nor the District Attorney's office ever acted as if her hair was falling out was a big deal. Why?

On April 14, 2005, Kelsey sprained her ankle while on a trip to the zoo with her aunt and cousins. They came and picked me up and we took Kelsey to the doctor where she/he told us it was indeed sprained. The doctor told us to have her to continue to walk on it as tolerated and then rest it. That Monday I married Mike Porter and I have a picture proving she was standing and walking that day. She was limping, but she was walking. That day at five o'clock, my older sister and I took Kelsey to meet Mrs. Briggs and four days later when I picked Kelsey up, she was NOT walking at all, she was crawling. When I asked what was wrong with my baby…why was she crawling, Kathie Briggs told me that earlier that week she took four steps and fell and didn't want to walk anymore. Why didn't she take her to the doctor??? She took Kelsey when she thought her nose was broken, which it was not, but she didn't take her because she QUIT WALKING??? I didn't take her to the doctor because I had already taken her. Since I was told that Kathie Briggs made a statement that she didn't care what the doctor said, she was NOT going to make Kelsey walk on her foot, I thought her foot had gotten stiff and sore from not walking on it. Never in my wildest nightmares did I ever think that my baby had two broken legs. But come Monday I took her to DHS and then to the doctor and that's when I found out that my baby had not one, but two broken legs. I remember crying and screaming out to my mom, "Mom, what's going on?!" So you see it is a fact that Kelsey was NOT with me when her legs were broken but I "should have known?" I was only doing what everyone was telling me to do. In May 2005, I accompanied my mom and Kelsey, me being in a seperate car, to Children's Hospital to have Kelsey tested for Brittle Bone Disease. Worried something was medically wrong with her, this was just one more step I wanted to take to see what was going on with my daughter. Later that summer, DHS and I were informed that the results came back "inconclusive". I wanted to have her tested further, but DHS said they would not be paying for a second test, because the insurance wouldn't pay for it, so my family and I was going to pay for it ourselves. I was informed that the Briggs family was extremely upset about having her further tested, and they were NOT going to help with the funds. Why would they be upset about having her further tested to make sure she didn't have a serious disease? That didn't, and still doesn't, make any sense to me. So you see, I still don't know if she even had Brittle Bone Disease, because the test didn't rule it out. I was going above and beyond even what the state was willing to do. But I "should have known?"

On one instance, Kelsey had a bruise on her nose and I showed it to Kathie Briggs, telling her and her daughter (Robynn) what had happened. They told me that they didn't even see it, because they were sick of all this and they were sure I was too. Not believing my ears, I called mom to tell her what they had just told me. Later I learned that Kathie Briggs immediately ran home and called DHS. It is impossible to work with a liar!

The days Kelsey and I would meet at the DHS office she would sometimes ask me difficult questions. On one occasion when I was leaving she asked me, "Mommy, I go with you?" I would tell her through tears, "No, baby, you can't go with me." Looking so sad and confused, she asked, "Mommy, what happened?" How do you tell a two-year-old what happened when you as an adult don't even know? In June, after court, the day she came home, I was holding her as we walked up to the door and she said something I will NEVER forget. She hugged my neck and said, "Mommy, I so proud of you, we're home." Do you have any idea how that made me feel? Out of all the people involved, Kelsey, my two-year-old, told me she was proud of her mommy. I pray and hope every night that Kelsey knows how much I fought for her, day in and day out, and that I'm still fighting for her.

That summer I enrolled Kelsey into a play therapy group for her to recieve counseling because, like I told DHS, if someone hurt her, I wanted to know what they did, who it was and then that person and me were going to have a talk. I received her acceptance papers in the mail the day she died when I was on my round trip to pick up her stepsister. The most Kelsey ever went without seeing or talking to a DHS worker, CHBS worker, CASA worker, and/or a doctor was seven days and they were in and out of our home day in and day out from June to October 11, 2005. Out of one hundred and twenty-two days, they were in our home thirty-five of those. I would let Kelsey talk to them when they would call, because who better for them to talk to other than Kelsey herself? At one point and time, I asked DHS for a round table discussion with everyone involved and I have yet to see that happen. Why? DHS has done it with my son. Why wasn't it allowed for Kelsey's well-being? During the summer of 2005, Kathie Briggs refused to go to the DHS office to visit with her granddaughter because she didn't want any more bad things said about her. I'm sorry but that is just rediculous. I have been called everything under the sun, but if I could see my daughter again, I really don't care and still don't. From January, 2005, to September 8, 2005, we had what felt like a million court dates, and on September 8, NO ONE from the paternal side, not even their attorney, even bothered to show up to fight for their visitation rights, but guess what, Kelsey's mommy was still there fighting for her baby. The District Attorney's office and Kelsey's attorney were asking the judge for the entire case to be dropped, because everything was going so good, but because of the Ryan Luke Law they couldn't do that. Kelsey was there that day too and they all saw her, so if anything with her was out of the ordinary, I'm sure they would've taken action. Obviously, she was doing great. I still remember what I dressed her in that day.

To this day I have never claimed I was a perfect person or a perfect mother, but I NEVER hurt Kelsey or allowed ANYONE to hurt my baby. Kelsey was my pride and joy, and to me the world revolved around her and still does. It hurts so bad to see on the television and/or in the newspaper that anytime there is a story done about DHS, my baby's name is right in the middle of it. She was a human, a child, a grandchild, a cousin, a niece, a soon-to-be big sister, NOT a poster child for DHS. I think back and read about all the things I did to get her back and it kills me that I lost her anyway. I could sit here all day and tell you what all I did for her when in all actuality no one seems to care. Kelsey lost her life for NO reason, I lost my daughter for NO reason, and even though I worked with the state before her death, day in and day out, I still not only lost her, but for the time being, I've lost my son. And for what, because I "should have known?"

I've been asked a million times if Kelsey could talk and the answer is "Yes, she could talk up a storm as if she was half-grown." Then I've been asked, "Did she ever say anything?" Yes, she said some things, such as: "I don't like Ashley!" (Kelsey's stepmom), and "I don't wanna go see Kafie (Kathie)!" And talking one day about Mike Porter, she said, "Daddy not mean to me." I have witnesses to two of these statements, CHBS worker being one. Believe me, I realize what Mike Porter did to my precious baby on October 11, 2005, but those are the kind of things she told me, so how was I supposed to know? I agree people are allowed their own opinion, but sent to prison on an opinion? That's absurd! The District Attorney Richard Smothermon stated publicly that I "should have known", but he told former judge Craig Key in private that he KNEW I was INNOCENT, but because of the other family, he had to charge me with something. My son is growing up without me because Richard Smothermon didn't have guts enough to stand up and be an authority figure over the Briggs family.

Now this man, Richard Smothermon, is wanting out of office to become a workman's compensation judge. He still has two years to serve in office. How loyal is he to the community and district he has promised to serve? Plus, he doesn't even live in the district where he serves as a District Attorney. He lives in Edmond. State officials have been informed of this on several occasions, but nothing has been done. Why? A lady running a tag office had to shut her place of business down because she didn't live in the same county as her tag office, but there is nothing done about a District Attorney doing the exact same thing? Richard Smothermon has made the statement that the "Kelsey Case" has done him in. If he had done the right thing in the first place, what he KNEW was the right thing, he wouldn't be in this predicament. Richard Smothermon told my attorney, Steve Huddleston, that he "Didn't have a problem with my mom having my son and me being supervised by my mom" but of course DHS didn't allow it, because they were already getting call-ins about my son and I didn't even have him. Now does that sound like a District Attorney who really, truly believes a mother enabled child abuse?

Speaking of my mom. To this day, she has yet to be questioned by the OSBI and/or the District Attorney's office. Why? She was the first one on the scene on October 11, 2005 and she had interaction with Kelsey and myself almost everyday for the two and a half years of Kelsey's life. I've wondered if it was because not questioning my mom made it easier for Richard Smothermon to prosecute me if he never heard the truth.

I am pleading with you to do the right thing and support me in this case. My daughter's memory and my son's life, as well as my own, are counting on it. I want the DHS files and the OSBI interviews made public; the Ryan Luke Law demands it. I have written to a couple of representatives and senators to ask for this, but as of this moment, I have received no response. What's the point of putting a law into effect if no one is going to use it for what it was put into law to do? So many wrongs need to be made right and is long overdue. I've always felt this way and I always will. I am asking you to please check more into the facts of this case and help my family and me. My family, as well as myself, would be more than happy to speak with you. Please, I am asking you and your colleagues to please find it in your hearts to fix the part of this tragedy that can still be fixed. I pray this letter finds you well, and I appreciate you taking the time to hear me out. The truth is out there, someone just has to take the time to listen to it, read about it and then act upon it. Please do the RIGHT THING.

Raye Dawn Smith

For more information, please go to

Mike Porter's Letter to Judge Key During the Custody Battle

To whom it may concern: I, Mike Porter, met Raye Dawn on or about October 15, 2004. Since beginning as friends, I have been present and witnessed many interactions between Raye Dawn and her minor child, Kelsey. We often spend time together watching TV, eating dinner and playing with Kelsey and my two children. It is because of this time I have spent around Raye Dawn that I can make this statement unequivocally - Raye Dawn WOULD NEVER HARM Kelsey. I know for a fact that Raye Dawn loves Kelsey more than life itself. This fact is apparent to anyone who spends more than 5 minutes with the tow of them. Raye Dawn is the kind of mother that ANY child would be lucky to have. I have never seen Raye Dawn administer discipline that would even come close to child abuse or neglect. In fact, there is a long-running joke between Raye Dawn and myself that Kelsey is the most spoiled child ever. Raye Dawn puts Kelsey first in every thought and action. Raye Dawn provides Kelsey with clothes to wear, food to eat, a roof over her head and all the love a child could ever need. She does all this while attending school (until this fiasco) and working to support herself and her child. If these qualities constitute an unfit mother, then we should all be so lucky to have unfit mothers.

Raye Dawn has raised Kelsey form her birth until the time she was taken, and done a fine job by all accounts (except those of her ex-in-laws.) From my understanding the paternal side of Kelsey's family has had little to do with Kelsey's upbringing besides visitation. One only has to do a little research in the town that both families reside in to find out what knid of people are involved. I am aware, as everyone is, of the history of domestic voilence involving Raye Dawn and Kelsey's father. Try as they may to blame the abuse on Raye Dawn, the fact of the matter is, there is never an excuse for a man to hurt a woman. By making wild claims of abuse, it would seem the plaintiff is casting rocks while living in a proverbial glass house. I do not purport to know the plaintiff and her family well, but I do know that after it became known by the plaintiff (Kathie) that I was involved with Raye Dawn, I received numerous prank phone calls at my home number - followed by a threatening phone call. The next day, I received a phone call from the plaintiff that, in my opinion, took a semi-accusatory tone regarding an "allegation" of child abuse. I informed the plaintiff (Kathie) at this time that these were not charges to sling about without regard and that if she was attempting to implicate myself, she would certainly hear from my lawyer. This information is included in a written statement with the Lincoln County Sheriff's Department.

My impression from the phone conversation with Kathie was that she is a petty person who is attempting to take advantage of a good, hard-working mother and an unknowning, innocent child. I know this whole ordeal has been very hard on Kelsey, as she has been taken from the only true parent she has ever known. I have no doubt in my mind that if Kelsey were old enough to articulate her thoughts clearly, she would make it known to EVERYONE what a travesty this whole ordeal is. Being a veteren of two custody disputes, I am very familiar with the definition of an unfit mother. I can say with a crystal clear conscience that Raye Dawn is the antithesis of an unfit mother. I pray that this court will use it's best judgement and return Kelsey to her rightful place - INTO HER MOTHER'S ARMS. I swear that the above statments are true and accurate to the best of my knowledge.

Michael Porter

An Overview of Raye's Case

Kelsey Shelton Smith was born into a broken home on December 28, 2002. Kelsey's mom, Raye Dawn Smith, divorced Kelsey's dad, Raymond Lance (Robinson) Briggs, before Kelsey was born. Raymond, who goes by Lance, was born and raised with the surname of Robinson, but he changed his name to his stepfather's surname---Briggs---just before marrying Raye and without a legal adoption.

Raye had suffered physcial and emotional abuse at the hands of Lance during their two-year marriage. Raye stated about the relationship: "I married Raymond Lance Briggs July of 2000. I lost my frist child that month at three months due to a blow to the stomach by the fist of Lance. Other than that time, he had hit on me several times, leaving black eyes, a bruised rib, my hair pulled out and a lot of my stuff throughout the house that all meant something to me, he would break. He even threw my Pomeranian dog against the wall at one time. He busted my nose at the river in front of all of our friends one summer. I finally got enough of all of that and left. I went to live back with my parents. Lance, a few weeks later, broke into the house we lived in while we were married and broke a bathroom mirror, threw groceries all over the kitchen, threw stuff in the ponk, in the creek, and plus stole some school albums."

In early 2002, Raye and Lance separated and she began dating another man before the divorce was final. When Raye discovered she was pregnant, she prayed that the baby did not belong to Lance, but a paternity test proved he was the father. The parties went to court and a hyphen was added to Kelsey's last name. She would be known as Kelsey Shelton Smith-Briggs, taking the name of Lance's stepfather along with her maternal family's name. Kelsey was a suggestion from Raye's grandmother, Mildred Fowler, and Shelton was Raye's father's middle name. Kelsey's new legal name and double birth announcements (one for Baby Girl Smith and one for Baby Girl Briggs) would be telling of the battle for Kelsey that would create an explosive atmosphere that would allow an unforseen tragedy to end her life just months before her third birthday.

Kelsey lived a fairly normal life for the first two years with no allegations of abuse from either family. Things changed when Raye started dating a man named Mike Porter in the fall of 2004, at the same time that Kathie Briggs, Kelsey's paternal grandmother, was awarded grandparent visitation. Bruises were noticed on Kelsey by her daycare worker after she returned from her visits with Kathie. Raye describes seeing bruises on Kelsey's legs that looked like "finger marks" and a bruise on her ear. Raye states that she assumed they were from Kathie or Lance or that Kelsey had a medical problem and bruised easily---a test determined the latter was not the issue. Because of the tension that was a powder keg ready to explode if one side dared to withhold Kelsey during a scheduled time for her to be with the other family, the families did not get along well, nor did they communicate on Kelsey's behalf. The situation grew far worse when a former friend of Kelsey's maternal grandmother told her to "get ready" because Lance and Kathie were going to "seek custody of Kelsey." This warning was later echoed in court when Kathie stated on the stand that Lance's new wife told her that she didn't want to have children of her own, she'd just keep Kelsey." Statements such as these that were based on heresay only added to the tension.

In January of 2005, Kelsey broke her collarbone (the most commonly broken bone in children) after a fall from a crib. At the end of January, bruises and scratches on her bottom that were discovered approximately four hours after Kathie and Lance had Kelsey at their respective homes were termed "abuse" by her paternal family when she was aken to the emergency room. Kelsey was then taken from Raye.

Four months passed with Kelsey in Kathie's care and Raye seeing Kelsey during supervised and then unsupervised visits after Raye fully cooperated with the state's Department of Human Services (DHS). Reports show that she completed every course and every evaluation she needed to accomplish in order to regain custody of Kelsey.

Hearings were held in Judge Key's courtroom with one person missing from each and every hearing, Kelsey's father.

Abuse allegations continued to be made against Raye that were unfounded, "screened out," and temed "normal childhood injuries" by child welfare workers. Kathie stated in court that she undressed Kelsey and took pictures of her and that she had three to four witnesses view Kelsey's entire body each time she would arrive at her home and each time she left. Witnesses state that Kelsey began counting her bruises and self-mutilating by biting and scratching herself and picking at her fingernails and toenails---one toenail she had completely picked off on the day that she died.

Judge Craig Key described Kelsey's strange behavior in his book about the case. He stated, "Although she was in protective custody, it was apparent that Kelsey wasn't adjusting to being in the Briggs home. A red flag was raised for me, as a judge, when DHS told me Kelsey's hair began falling out in clumps while in the care of Kathie Briggs. Kelsey's hair was falling out to the point that she had a bald spot on the back of her head the size of a baseball. She began self-mutilating by biting her arms and, as clearly stated in Kelsey's obituary submitted by the Briggs, she was apparently biting the Briggs family as well. Kelsey's behavior and hair loss during this time were all documented by DHS. Why Kelsey acted differently while in the custody of Kathie Briggs is unclear. Why Kelsey was timid, lethargic and asleep during almost every DHS visit is also unclear. But what's clear is the tug-of-war was started to get to the child both mentally and physically."

In April of 2005, Raye married Mike Porter. Her father had lost his battle with cancer the previous year and, with everything Raye was facing in fighting for her daughter, she needed someone to be a knight in shining armor for her. Mike Porter fit the description. He had custody of his eight-year-old daughter and regular visitation with his son, who was slightly younger than Kelsey. Mike Porter claimed that he was college graduate (untrue) and he inherited the family business after both of his parents died. He seemed to be just what Raye and Kelsey needed in their lives.

Just days before the marriage ceremony, Kelsey sprained her ankle while at the zoo with her maternal aunt and she was returned to Kathie's home with a doctor's note. Four days later, when Raye picked Kelsey up from Kathie's home, Kelsey refused to walk. Kathie claimed she took a couple of steps and then crawled for the rest of the week. Kathie didn't think anything about it. She had taken Kelsey to the emergency room for a bump on her nose, but she didn't see a need for a second opinion when Kelsey couldn't walk.

Raye took Kelsey to a doctor when her legs became progressively worse and the doctor stated that the first fracture was consistent with Kelsey's fall at the zoo and that her other leg had been injured more recently and was from overcompensation. Kelsey then went through two sets of casts. Raye and Gayla Smith, Raye's mom, had the casts put on, and Kathie had the first set removed after only six days. After Kelsey's legs were determined to be broken from abuse by a doctor Kathie had found and reportedly told that Raye was abusing Kelsey, Kelsey was removed from Kathie's home and placed with her maternal grandmother, Gayla.

According to records and witnesses, Kelsey lost weight and hair while with Kathie. A bald spot the size of a baseball was discovered. Once removed from Kathie's home, Kelsey reportedly improved.

After DHS viewed Kelsey's interactions with both Kathie and Raye during separate, supervised visits at the DHS office and reprted their findings at a hearing in June in Judge Key's courtroom, Kelsey was returned to Raye's custody with three child welfare services assigned by the Judge to watch over Kelsey and visit her home on an almost daily basis.

A total of five agencies were involved in Kelsey's life at this point, and they were: Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), Comprehensive Home Based Services (CHBS) Department of Human Services (DHS - Oklahoma's child protective service), the District Attorney's office and a Guardian ad litem. None of hte services in Kelsey's home ever brought to Raye's attention there was anything unusual going on in her home. The "experts" didn't suspect abuse and neither did Raye.

Once Kelsey went home with Raye, Kathie quit visiting Kelsey. It was reported that she did not want to be supervised because she did not like what was said about her in court.

In August of 2005, Kelsey, Raye Dawn and Mike Porter were in a hit-and-run accident. The man who hit the truck was pulled over a few blocks from the accident and was charged with drunk driving and leaving the scene of an accident. He caused over $14,000 in damage, bending the frame of Mike Porter's truck and shattering the back glass where Kelsey was sitting. Against the rules, Kathie attended a visit with Kelsey and her stepmother shortly after the accident. Kathie took video and pictures of Kelsey's injuries from the accident to later use to gain custody of Kelsey, but they have since been used to show "abuse."

Kelsey lost her appetite and started to deteriorate after the accident, so Raye took Kelsey to specialists and signed her up for play therapy in an effort to determine what was happening to her daughter.

On October 11, 2005, Raye and Kelsey were napping together in the master bedroom. Raye only had two pull-ups left and Kelsey was in the process of potty training. She had an accident jsut before their nap, so Kelsey went to sleep wearing only a long black t-shirt and no underwear or diaper.

Mike Porter arrived home from work between 2:30 and 2:45 PM. Raye awoke to Mike Porter standing above her and she left Kelsey in her bed sleeping while she drove the forty- to fifty-minute round trip to pick up Mike Porter's eight-year-old daughter from school in a nearby town.

When Raye returned home, Kelsey was in the arms of a first responder, and was being passed to an EMT. Raye screamed and ran to the ambulance. She noticed that Kelsey was wearing a pull-up. Mike Porter later stated that he had put it on her because he didn't want anyone "thinking anything" about her not wearing pants. He told Raye that he found a pull-up on the bar, but Raye states the pull-ups were in a bathroom closet.

On that day, Mike Porter described Kelsey's episode as a seizure, and nobody in the family questioned it since Kelsey had been reportedly having seizures for a while.

Kathie called the sheriff's office on the night of Kelsey's death and stated that it was murder and that her ex-daughter-in-law, Raye, had done it. She had already begun a quest to put Raye in prison for murder. Later it became clear she was willing to take down anyone who got in the way of her stated mission.

Autopsy results showed that Kelsey had suffered from a possible sexaul assault and that her death was from "blunt force trauma to the abdomen," which meant she had been murdered. A second autopsy confirmed the sexual assault. Shortly after Kelsey's death Mike Porter was charged with first degree murder. The charge of sexual assault was added in April of 2006 after the second autopsy confirmed "signs of repeated, forcible sexual assault."

Mike Porter later took a plea bargain, dropping the charges of murder and sexual assault and pled guilty to enabling child abuse. He was sentenced to 30 years in prison. He's since been moved to an out-of-state prison under a fake name "for his protection."

Raye was convicted of enabling child abuse and sentenced to 27 years. Even now, five years later, Kathie Briggs' focus is on Raye. Kathie and her supporters have even accused Raye's mother and grandmother of committing crimes. Kathie and her supports continue to rally against Raye and her family in hopes the truth never comes out.

Raye's First Appeal - Conclusion


Raye Dawn Smith was denied her constitutional right to a fair trial. She was convicted by the media before she ever stepped foot in the courtroom. For the reasons set forth above, Raye Dawn Smith moves for a new trial. The Information charging her with alternative counts of child abuse and enabling child abuse was not signed by the duly elected and qualified district attorney for Lincoln County. Mr. Smothermon also called on Patricia High, as he does in many high-profile cases, to prosecute Raye Dawn Smith. Ms. High is a special prosecutor. The State can call her what they want, but nothing can disguise the fact that she is operating a thriving private law practice and on monthly salary with the State in violation of Oklahoma law. Raye Dawn's jurors did not adhere to the oath they took as jurors or this court's admonitions. The jurors were continually exposed to news interviews with the Briggs family. Jurors were caught sleeping during trial, and one jurro was seen watching a noon broadcast of the trial on the news. This jury should have been sequestered or kep together and subject to the watchful eye of the bailiffs and in the very least voir dire should have taken longer than a half day to complete. One juror has demonstrated her obvious bias by taking no time at all in joining forces with Kathie Briggs. This juror has been interviewed numerous times, and her interviews reveal that she received evidence out of court. Finally, other evidence in this motion that spports Raye Dawn Smith obtaining a new trial ist he medical evidence. The State's witnesses manipulated the evidence to fit with a story---a story that Kathie Briggs told them. Dr. Sullivan admitted at trial that his facts came solely from Kathie Briggs adn that he did not contact anyone to substantiate those facts. This child was not grabbed by someone in anger and twist or slung around. These were bilateral oblique fractures. These are normal toddler fractures that are usually associated with falls from slides, swings, trees, etc. Kelsey was an ative, playful child at the peak age for normal toddler fractures. Raye Dawn is entitled to a second trial---a trial that conforms with those rights and privileges she is granted under the United States and Oklahoma Constitution.

Respectfully submitted, Stephen Jones

Raye's First Appeal - Proposition 9

Proposition 9: The Court should have allowed former Judge Key to testify as a fact witness

Raye Dawn's trial counsel made an effort of proof on July 16, 2007, concerning the testimony of defense witness and former judge, Craig S. Key. This Court haeard the matter and denied the right to even call Mr. Key as a witness to the stand. In denying Raye Dawn that right, this Court directly infringed on her constitutional right to present a defense and to call witnesses to testify in her defense. See U.S. Const. Amends. V, VI and XIV and OKLA. CONST. Art II, paragraphs 7 and 20. Craig Key was a fact witness who could have given relevant and highly material evidence that would have supported the defense. Mr. Key would have testified consistently with his book, and as evidenced below, his testimony would have been clearly relevant at trial and would have directly countered the testimony of witnesses for the State. Defendant proposes that Mr. Key would have testified to the following:

That in June, 2005, he went to the court lobby to see Kelsey for himself. He writes, "She looked like a totally normal child, no bruises, nothing. She had been hopping around, almost bubbly."

"None of the evidence, allegations or testimony that I had seen from the time I had made the decision to return Kelsey to the custody of her mother, Raye Dawn Smith in June until October 11th had caused me to doubt whether or not I made the wrong decision. I had questioned DHS workers on several occasions to find out how Kelsey was doing and I was continuously told she was doing well and that was continuing to grow her hair back and gain weight."

"In fact, the placement of Kelsey in Raye Dawn's home was going so well that, at the September 8th hearing to stop visitation of the paternal side of the family, the Assistant District Attorney and Kelsey's court-appointed attorney wanted to dismiss the entire case against Raye Dawn."

"Everything I'd seen confirmed that although this case did involve allegations of child abuse, there was no definite perpetrator identified. It was apparent to anyone who was involved in investigating the case that Raye Dawn loved and wanted Kelsey. She fully cooperated with the authorities to gain back custody of her child. Further evidence was the fact that even after the June hearing, Raye Dawn continued her complete cooperation with the agencies that watched out for Kelsey."

At Pages 41-43, Judge Key writes about an incident between Julie Sebastian and Kathie Briggs when Kathie came to pick up Kelsey from daycare. According to Judge Key, "Kathie jumped out of the car, instantly became angry and started yelling at Julie Sebastian. Julie held Kelsey as Kathie grabbed Kelsey's little arm and tried to rip her loose. Julie was afraid that Kathie would hurt Kelsey by pulling on her in that manner, so she let Kathie take little Kelsey."

"On at least three occasions, during the time Kathie had temporary guardianship of Kelsey, she took Kelsey to DHS and Kelsey was asleep and would not wake up for the worker to fully examine her. It has been alleged that Kathie continuously had Kelsey on unncessary medicines and that Kathie took Kelsey to the doctor repeatedly. DHS workers noted that, while in Kathie's custody, Kelsey seemed lethargic and slept most of the time."

"Although she was in protective custody, it was apparent that Kelsey wasn't adjusting to being in the Briggs home. A red flag was rasied for me, as a judge, when DHS told me Kelsey's hair began falling out in clumps while in the care of Kathie Briggs. Kelsey's hair was falling out to the pint that she had a bald spot on the back of her head the size of a baseball. She began self-mutilating by biting her arms, and as clearly stated in Kelsey's obituary submitted by the Briggs, she was apparently biting the Briggs family as well."

"After visitation when it was time for Raye Dawn to return Kelsey to the Briggs, she would cry and cling to her mom and say she didn't like 'Mommy Ashley' and she didn't want to see 'Kafie.'"

"DHS was only able to narrow the timeline to show that the fractures occurred when Kelsey was in the care of Kathie Briggs from April 18th to April 21st, or with Raye Dawn Smith from April 21st to April 25th, during which time, multiple people had access to Kelsey."

That it bothered him that Kathie did not take Kelsey to the doctor during that time she refused to walk. "When Kelsey could not walk, Kathie saw no need to get a second opinion." Judge Key emphasized that this inaction on Kathie's part for the four days she had Kelsey made no sense given that Kathie would send numerous e-mails to DHS any time she found a bump, bruise or scratch on Kelsey.

Mr. Key would have testified that there were "red flags" raised in his mind while Kelsey was undert he care and custody of Kathie Briggs and that the child began to thrive once she was returned to her mother, Raye Dawn, in June. Mr. Key's testimony was certainly relevant and material to Raye Dawn's defense. The fact that he was a former judge did not preclude him as a witness. Relevant evidence is generally admissible. Nor was his status as a former judge, or even the judge in another matter related to the criminal case, a bar to his competency as a witness. Even if the offer of proof of defendant's counsel was inadaquate, it was plain error to bar him from the stand as his ability to testify to relevant and admissible evidence was clearly known by the Court. He should have been permitted to take the stand, then objections to specific questions could have been raised and ruled upon. To keep him off the stand entirely is sufficient, standing alone, to grant a new trial. It was and is plain error which was not harmless. He had personally observed the child in June, 2005 and Kelsey had no bumps or bruises. She was happy.

Mr. Key would have testified that even Kathie Briggs was not concerned with Kelsey being around Michael Porter during late March and into April, 2005. Finally, he could have impeached Kathie Briggs' credibility. Briggs testified as a witness for the State. Mr. Key would have impeached her credibility. Kathie Briggs told numerous DHS workers and Key that Lance Briggs was away in Iraq and this was his reason for not attending the hearings involving Kelsey. Each time DHS watned to contact Lance Briggs about the investigation, Kathie Briggs would say he was unreachable. For months, DHS had not heard from Lance and he had not contacted them to find otu what was going on with his daughter. Kathie Briggs claimed Lance was in Iraq this entire time, but when the struggle over Kelsey was at its peak in April, 2005, Lance was reachable on his cell phone and he told workers he was driving around Shawnee, Oklahoma.

It simply defies due process to suggest that former Judge Key would not be allowed to testify because he might attract the media's attention. It is the Court's duty to control the trial and media within constitutional limits and to see that the process is fair. The judge is not the "mere moderator, but the governer of the trial." See Herron v. Southern Pac. Co., 283 U.S. 91, 95, 51 S.Ct. 383, 75 L.Ed. 857 (1931). Surely, what media that was goig to be present at the trial was already there. It appears that every local television station from Oklahoma City and Tulsa were present along with numerous newspaper reporters. In any event, the Court could have taken adequate measures to ensure that the news media inside and outside the courtroom did not detract from the proceedings.

The records of this case demonstrate that the trial court and counsel failed to exercise control over the abusive conduct of witnesses, potential witnesses, prosecutor and members of the Briggs family, as well as the media. The jury was allowed to roam about almost at will, the prosecutor was allowed to engage in unprofessional conduct throughout the investigation, charging process and trial, witnesses were allowed to go far outside the evidence. The result was that the defendant's rights of fair process to due process and to effective assistance of counsel---all as guaranteed under the Fifth, Sixth and Fourteenth Admendments of the United States Constitution and Oklahoma Consititution---were denied and defendant was prejudiced by this denial.

Raye's First Appeal - Proposition 8

Proposition 8: With pre-trial publicity so widespread, voir dire should not have been completed in only a half a day

Jury selection started after 9:00 a.m. on July 9, 2007. Two 15-minute morning recesses were taken during that time. Peremptory challenges were exercised and the regular jury panel was formed before lunch. Everyone was told to return at 2:00 p.m. for the selection of the alternate jurors. After 2:00 p.m., the alternate jurors were selected. The Court gave some instructions and an afternoon recess was had. Everyone returned at 3:40 p.m. for the reading of the Information and the State's Opening Statement.

In the words of one reputable and experienced Oklahoma news analys, "The fact that jury selection took only half a day is appalling. Clearly, there is no way in just a half a day it could be determined that the 12 jurors on the panel had no prior knowledge of the case."

Ms. Briggs established a website titled "Kelsey's Purpose," shortly after Kelsey passed away. "The blogging traffic on the site is unreal."

The only publicity questions asked of the potential jurors at Raye Dawn's trial were asked by the Court. The questions were restricted primarily to three questions: (1) whether the potential juror had heard about the case; (2) from what news medium and when; (3) and through hearing about the case, had the potential juror formed an opinion as to the defendant's guilt or innnocence.

One juror that was ultimately selected indicated that she had read about the case in the Lincoln County Newspaper. She assured the Court that she had not formed an opinion about as to the defendant's guilt or innocence as a result of reading the newspaper. That was the end of the Court's inquiry with her on this particular issue. Neither the prosecutor or defense inquired of her any further. Therefore, it is undetermined what specifically she read about the case. Another juror that was selected indicated she had heard about the case that morning on the television. She, too, assured the Court that she had formed no prior opinion as to guilt or innocence. That was the end of the inquiry with her from all parties involved. Finally, another juror that was selected said he had heard about the case on the news some time ago. He also claimed hehad not formed an opinion as to guilt or innocence. The others claimed to have never heard anything about the case prior to trial.

The only way such a statement can be true is if these other nine jurors have been living in a vacuum for two years. Their disclaimers were not credible and a much more searching voir dire should have been conducted. This case has received news publicity of mammoth proportions.

"Study after study emanating from high-profile cases indicates that media scrutiny has a profound effect on the attitudes and expectations of potential jurors, which is especially troublesome during the pre-trial period when reporting tends to be pro-prosecution oriented." "Further, research indicates interpretive bias is magnified in high-profile cases. In short, the difficulties for potential jurors to do an honest, and fair job are greatly increased when pre-trial publicity like that with which Ms. Smith faced was present."

"Studies show that in high-profile cases, jurors will answer questions a certain way in an effort to get on the jury. Most persons want to serve jurors in high-profile cases."