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Former judge in Kelsey Smith-Briggs case indicted by Oklahoma grand jury

Craig S. Key is accused in three state indictments of embezzling from clients and stealing cattle.
by Nolan Clay Modified: April 18, 2013 at 9:50 pm •  Published: April 19, 2013

Kelsey died from a “blunt force trauma” injury to the abdomen. No one was ever convicted of her death.

Her mother, Raye Dawn Smith, 33, was convicted of enabling child abuse and is serving a 27-year prison sentence.

Kelsey's stepfather, Michael Lee Porter, pleaded guilty to enabling child abuse and is serving a 30-year sentence.

Key has had recent severe financial troubles. He owes the federal government, for instance, around $150,000 on an unpaid student loan, records show.

Key faces seven felony counts in all — three counts of delivery of a forged check, two counts of embezzlement, one count of conspiracy to commit larceny of domestic animals and one count of larceny of domestic animals.

Charged with Key in the cattle theft indictment are Joshua E. Anderson, 36, of Agra, and Leslie L. Bottger, 47, of Agra.

Grand jurors allege Key gave them $200 cash on Sept. 28 to cover the expenses of the theft. Grand jurors allege the two men stole a trailer from the victim to move the stolen cattle to Key's farm in two trips on Sept. 29.

Grand jurors allege Key instructed another man, Brandon Ray Dawson, 42, of Chandler, to sell the stolen cattle at a sales barn in Waurika in October. Grand jurors allege Key promised Dawson $200 from the proceeds of the sale.

Dawson was charged last year after state Agriculture Department agents prevented the sale.

Grand jurors allege Dawson, on Oct. 9, sent a text message from the sales barn to Key's cellphone as agents approached him.

According to the indictment, the message was: “Cops Just Came In.” Key responded, “Leave.”

All three indictments will be filed in Lincoln County District Court. Prosecuting the case will be assistants of Attorney General Scott Pruitt. has disabled the comments for this article.
by Nolan Clay
Sr. Reporter
Nolan Clay was born in Oklahoma and has worked as a reporter for The Oklahoman since 1985. He covered the Oklahoma City bombing trials and witnessed bomber Tim McVeigh's execution. His investigative reports have brought down public officials,...
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