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Kelsey's mom seeks new abuse trial

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By Nolan Clay Published: October 23, 2007
BRISTOW — The mother of Kelsey Smith-Briggs asked Monday for a new trial, alleging the district attorney has lied about where he lives so he was not qualified to prosecute her.

Raye Dawn Smith also complained doctors shamefully overstated evidence, several jurors slept during testimony and the media acted "like a plague of locusts.”

"An innocent woman was convicted of a terrible crime,” her new attorney, Stephen Jones, wrote in a 94-page legal brief.

Smith is serving a 27-year prison sentence for enabling child abuse.

Jurors in July found Smith, 27, guilty of allowing her then-second husband to abuse Kelsey.

Kelsey, 2, died Oct. 11, 2005, at her home near Meeker. Doctors determined she died from abuse. Jurors heard testimony that Kelsey had been abused for months, suffering a broken collarbone, broken legs, bruises, a sexual assault and other injuries.

Kelsey's stepfather, Michael Lee Porter, is serving 30 years in prison.

Porter, 27, once was charged with sexually abusing and murdering Kelsey, but pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of enabling child abuse after reaching a deal with prosecutors.

Smith's trial judge, Paul Vassar, will hear her request. She can raise the same issues at the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals if she doesn't get a new trial.

Reasons for new trial
Jones gave about a dozen reasons her trial was unfair.

A key argument involves District Attorney Richard Smothermon.

Her attorney contends Smothermon was not qualified to prosecute her because he lives in Edmond, which is outside his district of Lincoln and Pottawatomie counties.

Her attorney called the district attorney's house in Shawnee "a political disguise.”

"He lives in Edmond ...

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Raye Dawn Smith


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