Monday, 10 September 2007
08:17:17 AM (GMT)
Kelsey Shelton Smith was born in the small town of Meeker, Oklahoma on December 28,
2002. Her parents are Raye Dawn Smith and Lance Briggs. They divorced before
Kelsey’s birth after Raye Dawn had been physically and emotionally abused by Lance
one too many times. The battle for Kelsey began with dual birth announcements.
In the fall of 2004 Kelsey’s paternal grandmother, Kathie Briggs, got visitation of
Kelsey at the same time Raye Dawn started dating Mike Porter. Bruises began appearing
on Kelsey, and Raye Dawn assumed the bruises were coming from Kathie. The daycare
worker noticed the bruises always appeared after Kathie's weekend with Kelsey.
In January, 2005 Kelsey fell on a plastic slide in her room after crawling out of her
crib and she broke her collarbone. A week later, and after Kathie and Lance Briggs
had Kelsey for four hours during visitation, bruises appeared on Kelsey’s butt.
Lance and Kathie took Kelsey to the emergency room. The police said there was no
abuse, but DHS said the bruises on Kelsey’s butt were abuse and asked a judge to
remove Kelsey from her mother’s home. Temporary guardianship was awarded to Kathie
Briggs while Raye Dawn attended classes and evaluations to regain custody of Kelsey.
During this time, Raye Dawn had regular, unsupervised visitation.
On April 14, 2005 Raye Dawn had visitation of Kelsey and Kelsey’s maternal aunt
Miste took Kelsey to the zoo where she fell off a flip flop and injured her ankle.
Raye Dawn took Kelsey to a doctor that same day and Kelsey was diagnosed with a
sprain. On April 18th Raye Dawn married Mike Porter. The day of the wedding Raye Dawn
returned Kelsey to Kathie Briggs’ home with a doctor’s note for the sprain. On
April 21st Raye Dawn returned to pick up Kelsey and Kelsey wasn’t walking. Kathie
Briggs said Kelsey took a couple of steps in Wal-Mart at the beginning of the week
and then fell down and refused to walk again. A relative of Kathie Briggs confirmed
that Kelsey just played in the floor, but didn’t think anything about the fact that
Kelsey couldn’t walk.
Raye Dawn didn’t have guardianship of Kelsey, so after Raye Dawn realized
Kelsey’s legs were swollen and hot, she took Kelsey to DHS who told Raye Dawn to
take Kelsey to the doctor. Kelsey’s legs were broken and the doctor put her legs in
casts. Raye Dawn returned Kelsey to Kathie's home and Kathie had Kelsey's casts
removed. DHS removed Kelsey from Kathie Briggs’ home and placed Kelsey with her
maternal grandmother, Gayla Smith, who took Kelsey to have her legs put back in
casts. In Gayla's care Kelsey gained weight, her hair grew back that she had lost
while with Kathie, and she improved. DHS said Kathie Briggs had been uncooperative in
determining where Kelsey's father was and she was not forthcoming with information
about Kelsey's injuries. Kathie Briggs became a suspect in the abuse of Kathie and to
this day she has not been cleared of the abuse.
In June, 2005 because Raye Dawn had completed everything required to regain custody
of her child, the judge returned Kelsey to Raye Dawn with three services in her home
watching her progress. Nobody appealed his decision.
In August Kelsey was in a car accident when Mike Porter's truck was totaled after
being hit by a drunk driver. Kelsey suffered unknown internal injuries in this
accident and the videos and pictures of Kelsey in a swing with her face bruised were
taken following the accident. The Briggs have said repeatedly that they knew Kelsey
was dying at that time, but at the hearing on September 8th to stop the Briggs'
visitation of Kelsey, nobody from the Briggs family showed up, not even their
attorney. At that hearing the ADA and Kelsey's attorney reported to the judge that
Kelsey's progress was going so well that they wanted to take all of the services out
of Raye Dawn's home. The judge took them back into his chambers and showed them the
Ryan Luke Law, which states the services have to remain in the child's home for a
certain period of time. So the services stayed in Kelsey's home. (Kathie Briggs has
claimed that Judge Key broke the law. He did not. Kathie Briggs has claimed Judge Key
signed Kelsey's death sentence. She did when she didn't show up at the hearing in
September since she claims she knew Kelsey was dying. Kathie Briggs has claimed that
Judge Key has shown no remorse for his actions. On his site it says he prays for the
families every day. Kathie Briggs claims Judge Key said he'd make the same decision
again. He said if he had the same information he would, but with hindsight he
On October 11, 2005 Kelsey died of blunt force trauma to the abdomen while home alone
with her step-father, Mike Porter. What happened in those final moments are unknown.
Raye Dawn had left the home to pick up Mike Porter's daughter from school while Mike
waited for a friend to pick up some tires. Kelsey was napping, so Raye Dawn left her
in Mike's care.
Mike Porter took a 30 year plea for enabling child abuse to escape charges of sexual
assault and murder. Raye Dawn Smith is awaiting her sentencing for enabling child
Kathie Briggs has made it her personal vendetta to pin Kelsey's murder on Raye Dawn.
Multiple YouTube videos point the finger to Raye Dawn and Kathie Briggs continually
states that her family believes Raye Dawn killed Kelsey. Her claims are ridiculous
and born out of revenge. She has spread hate throughout the nation and it's time to
get to the truth of the matter.
This site is dedicated to finding the truth and to offer support for other families
facing child custody battles. Please join the forum and learn the facts in this case.