MEEKER Kelsey called him Daddy Mike. Michael Lee Porter, 25, accused of murdering his new stepdaughter Oct. 11, is known to friends as a good young man who played basketball at Shawnee High School and took over the family business after his father and mother died. He also has a reputation as a loving father of his own two children, Whitney, 8 and Michael, 2, and as a good stepfather to Kelsey Smith-Briggs, 2. "She'd go in there and sit on his lap and play on his computer, said Waunita Ward, his company bookkeeper. "He'd come out in the office to get her cookies or candy bars. He began dating Kelsey's mom, then Raye Dawn Smith, after they met at Hot Rods, a bar in Shawnee, in the fall last year. They quickly became an item. "When he got with that girl, he was in a daze. ... He was so in love with her. If she said, Jump, roll over backwards,' he'd do it, said Wendell Kelley Jr., a friend and employee. Friends said they warned him about his new girlfriend, that she had a wild reputation and was coming out of a bad marriage. "That girl had a temper. She'd throw tantrums, Kelley said. Ward said, "I told him, There's too much drama in her life right now. You need to stay out of it.' He said, ... I feel sorry for her.' Kelsey's father, Lance Briggs, was away in the military most of this year. His family said they initially were happy about the relationship. Kelsey's grandmother, Kathie Briggs, said: "We had heard that he was a really nice guy and we were excited for her that she was with somebody that had two children of his own, and we thought, Great, they'll have a good family.' "When the abuse started, we didn't know who did it. We still really don't. There were a couple of times that Kelsey made reference to Mike when she was talking about her injuries, but she was 2, so you couldn't really just sit there and question her detail to detail about stuff. Still, the two got married April 18 before a judge in the county courthouse in Shawnee. He, Raye Dawn and Kelsey then posed for a picture on the courthouse steps. He wore a pullover shirt, jeans shorts and tennis shoes. Kelsey had been taken from her mother in January after breaking her collarbone. The mother was allowed visits and eventually got Kelsey back in June. Their marriage has fallen apart since Kelsey's death. From jail, Mike Porter has filed for divorce. His wife, who is pregnant, wants to deny him visitation once their child is born. The family business Mike Porter is president of the family business, Midwest Industries Inc., a magnet manufacturing company that has a dozen or so employees. The company makes magnets for a variety of purposes including computer keyboards, cell phones and magicians. His sister is the owner. He was on the basketball team at Shawnee High School and also was basketball homecoming king. He played his final game a day after his father died of a heart attack in 1998. "We would have understood whatever he wanted to do, but he thought his dad would have wanted him to play, so he went ahead and played, said his former coach, Bob Banfield, who now is in Stroud. "Fine young man. Never had any problems with him at all. He came from a good family and was just a model citizen and good player for me. Mike Porter went to Oklahoma State University but left to help care for his mother, who suffered from cancer, employees said. She died in 2003. His employees told The Oklahoman he is still helping guide the company over the phone from jail. "We have phone calls from him every day, wanting to know how things are at the plant, secretary Sue Green said. "He always tells me, Sue, you know I didn't do this.' He called last week to make sure employees got a company turkey dinner and off early for Christmas, Green said. At the time of Kelsey's death, Porter also was facing severe financial pressure, records show. He had lost his home in Shawnee, where he, his new wife and children had been staying. Raye Dawn Porter said he kept secrets, never telling her about the foreclosure, according to her attorney. Her mother, Gayla Smith, said he lied about it. "He told us he had it leased and he told somebody else he had it rented and he told my son he sold it, Gayla Smith said. He also had just bought his mother-in-law's home outside Meeker. It was there that Kelsey suffered the blow that killed her. Gayla Smith said she let Mike Porter and her daughter buy her home in October for a reduced price of $240,000. She does not know how he came up with the financing. Mike Porter's daughter, Whitney, was born when he was 17. He did not marry her mother. He had his son with another woman, Alesha Bruce, 24, of Shawnee. She stands by him. "I've never seen him hurt a child, Bruce said. "That's just not Mike's personality. He loves his kids and not just his own. "I wouldn't have any problem leaving Mike alone with our son today, Bruce said. "I trust him. Bruce said she and Porter began dating when they were seniors at Shawnee High School. They were basketball homecoming king and queen in 1998. They moved in together after high school and he worked both at the family plant and a casino to get money when she was pregnant. They split in 2004.
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