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. The sexual abuse and murder counts were dropped as part of a plea agreement with prosecutors. Also, under the deal, he was sentenced to 30 years in prison. The district attorney later said he still believed Porter was to blame for Kelsey's death. Porter blamed Kelsey's mother, Raye Dawn Smith, for the death and testified against Smith at her trial. He claimed at the trial last year that he saw Kelsey's mother abuse the child three times but covered it up. He also said he found Kelsey in bed not breathing on the day of her death after Smith left him alone with the girl. Porter and Smith had been married only a few months at the time of Kelsey's death. They divorced afterward. Jurors found Smith guilty at her trial of enabling child abuse. She is serving 27 years in prison.
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