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Kelsey's mom won't be retried

By Nolan Clay Modified: December 6, 2007 at 5:20 am •  Published: December 6, 2007
BRISTOW — The mother of Kelsey Smith-Briggs has lost her first bid for a new trial.

Raye Dawn Smith is serving 27 years in prison for enabling child abuse. Jurors in July found Smith, 28, guilty of allowing her then-husband to abuse Kelsey.

In a decision filed Tuesday, her trial judge, Paul Vassar, rejected all nine of her complaints. Her new attorney, Stephen Jones of Enid, said he now will appeal to the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals.

Kelsey, 2, died Oct. 11, 2005, at her home near Meeker. Doctors determined she died from abuse.

Jurors heard testimony that Kelsey was abused for months, suffering a broken collarbone, broken legs, bruises, sexual assault and other injuries.

Smith contends she is innocent.

What were her arguments?
Her complaints about the trial included a claim that as many as nine jurors slept during testimony. The judge wrote that allegation "is absolutely false and untrue.”

"It did not happen,” the judge wrote. "I observed one juror who on one day appeared to be asleep. I immediately admonished the jury on the record to remain alert and then recessed court. I continued to monitor the jury in general and this juror in particular and saw no repetition of this behavior. No other juror ever gave any appearance whatsoever of falling asleep.”

Another key complaint focused on District Attorney Richard Smothermon.

Smith's attorney contended the district attorney lives in Edmond, outside his district of Lincoln and Pottawatomie counties, so he was not qualified to prosecute her. Order: Motion for new trial for Raye Dawn Smith denied

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Raye Dawn Smith


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