Judge denies request for shorter sentence in Kelsey case

By Nolan Clay Published: February 7, 2008
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CHANDLER--A judge today refused to give a more lenient prison sentence to the stepfather of Kelsey Smith-Briggs.

Michael Lee Porter is serving 30 years in prison for enabling child abuse. His attorney on Feb. 1 asked the judge to consider shortening the time.

Judge Paul Vassar turned Porter down. The judge ruled that, by law, he couldn't even consider the request, unless the district attorney agreed, since Porter's punishment was the result of a plea agreement.

District Attorney Richard Smothermon had told the judge the state "expressly withholds its consent ... and thus this Court has no jurisdiction for any modification of the defendant's sentence."

Kelsey, 2, died on Oct. 11, 2005, at her home near Meeker. Her death brought widespread attention to flaws at the Department of Human Services in the oversight of abused children. Her death led to reforms.

Porter once was charged with sexually assaulting and murdering Kelsey. Days before his trial was to start he pleaded guilty instead to enabling child abuse.

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