Death of Kelsey Smith-Briggs
|Kelsey Shelton Smith-Briggs|
December 28, 2002|
|Died||October 11, 2005
|Cause of death||Homicide - Blunt force trauma to the abdomen|
|Resting place||Meeker, Oklahoma|
|Weight||30 lb|
|Parent(s)||Lance Briggs and Raye Dawn Smith|
Kelsey Shelton Smith-Briggs (28 December 2002 – 11 October 2005) was a child abuse victim. She died at the home of her biological mother Raye Dawn Smith, and her stepfather Michael Lee Porter. Her death was ruled a homicide. Kelsey had been "closely" observed by the Oklahoma Department of Human Services from January 2005 up to and including the day of her death.
Birth and early childhood
Kelsey was born on December 28, 2002 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma to divorced parents. She lived with her mother, and maintained contact with her paternal family. The first two years of her life were uneventful. Before January 2005, no signs of abuse were reported to authorities, nor noticed by family members nor Kelsey's day care staff.
From January 2005 to the end of her life, Kelsey had suffered several documented and confirmed incidences of child abuse. Her injuries included a broken collarbone, broken legs, and multiple bruises and abrasions on her face and body.
On January 17, 2005, the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS) first confirmed abuse against Kelsey's mother after Kelsey was taken to a local emergency room with a broken collarbone, multiple bruises and abrasions to Kelsey's lower back, buttocks, and thighs.
In April 2005, both of Kelsey's legs were broken. Medical examiners determined these were spiral fractures in different stages of healing and were caused by child abuse. After this incident, Kelsey was taken into OKDHS (State's) custody.
On June 15, 2005, Kelsey was placed into the home of biological mother Raye Dawn Smith and stepfather Michael Lee Porter by Associate District Judge Craig Key, against an OKDHS recommendation. The judge stated that the abuser was "unknown".
Kelsey Shelton Smith-Briggs died on October 11, 2005 at the home of her mother, Raye Dawn Smith, and her stepfather, Michael Lee Porter in Meeker, Oklahoma. Her death was ruled a homicide from blunt force trauma to the abdomen.
Trial, verdict and sentences
Kelsey Smith-Briggs Child Protection Reform Act
In March 2006, the Oklahoma state legislature passed the Kelsey Smith-Briggs Child Protection Reform Act to reform the way courts and the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS) handle cases related to child abuse and neglect. The bill's co-author, Senator Harry Coates, presented the measure in committee.
- Tulsa World Toddler's Death Ruled Homicide retrieved 2009-09-05
- Clay, Nolan (2007-07-01). "Secret Report Rips DHS". The Oklahoman. Retrieved 2009-09-05.
- Oklahoma Commission on Children and Youth Office of Juvenile System Oversight, Review of Child Death of Kelsey Smith-Briggs March 27, 2006 Final Summary Retrieved 3 September 2009
- "Who failed Kelsey? Toddler's death occurs despite intensive state activity". Tulsa World. 2005-12-04. Retrieved 2009-09-05.
- The Oklahoman A broken life: The brief and tragic story of Kelsey Smith-Briggs retrieved 2009-09-06
- Oklahoma Commission on Children and Youth Office of Juvenile System Oversight, Review of Child Death of Kelsey Smith-Briggs Addendum #1 - Court Proceedings of June 15 and June 16, 2005 Addendum #1 Retrieved 3 September 2009
- "Stepfather gets 30 years in toddler's death". The Oklahoman. 2007-02-02. Retrieved 2009-09-05.
- Clay, Nolan (2007-07-19). "Mom found guilty; jury hands down 27-year prison term". The Oklahoman. Retrieved 2009-09-05.
- "District Judge Rules on New Trial for Smith". October 10, 2010.
- "Senate Approves Kelsey’s Law". Oklahoma State Senate Communications Division. 2006-04-26. Retrieved 2009-09-06.
- 'Heavens Gates Memorial Site for Kelsey Briggs'
- YouTube "The Kelsey Briggs Story"
- Snopes.com entry on "Kelsey Smith-Briggs"
- Website founded by Kelsey's grandmother
- Child welfare reform website with information on the Child Protection Reform Act and other legislation
- Oklahoma Statutes Annotated. West Group. 2007. pp 668, 851, 942.