Judge returned girl, report shows

By Nolan Clay Published: December 15, 2005
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A new report in the Kelsey Smith-Briggs murder case reveals a judge in June let the abused girl go back to her mom immediately, even though a Department of Human Services child welfare worker recommended the return be "phased in."

Commission Report

Associate District Judge Craig Key ruled Kelsey, who suffered two fractured legs in April, had been abused but the perpetrator was unknown.

His decision to return the girl has attracted widespread attention because Kelsey, 2, died Oct. 11 after suffering a blow to the stomach at the Meeker home of her stepfather and mother.

The stepfather, Michael Lee Porter, 25, is charged with first-degree murder. The mother, Raye Dawn Porter, is under investigation. Both deny abusing Kelsey.

Many are pointing to the murder case as an example of a need for reforms in how the judicial system and the state Department of Human Services protect children.

The new five-page report was released Thursday by the Oklahoma Commission on Children and Youth.


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