BRISTOW — Jurors at the child-abuse trial for Raye Dawn Smith will begin deliberating today or Friday after closing arguments are completed. Smith, 27, wept again this morning as a prosecutor pointed at her and said she was responsible for the death of her daughter. "She did nothing. She did nothing,” prosecutor Pattye High said in the start of closing arguments. "Do not let her tears in this courtroom dissuade you from justice.” Prosecutors are asking jurors to convict Smith of either child abuse or enabling child abuse. Her daughter, Kelsey Smith-Briggs, 2, died on Oct. 11, 2005, at their home near Meeker. Both District Attorney Richard Smothermon and defense attorneys say Kelsey's stepfather, Michael Lee Porter, sexually assaulted and murdered Kelsey. Porter is serving 30 years in prison after pleading guilty to a lesser charge under a deal with prosecutors. He and Smith divorced after Kelsey's death. High said Smith both abused Kelsey herself, which is child abuse, and knew Porter was abusing the girl, which is enabling child abuse. She told jurors they must pick one. "She knew. She knew,” High said. "A mother doesn't have the right to choose her man over her baby. A mother doesn't have the right to do it. ... The law requires a mother to stand up for her child.” Jurors in the trial heard from 22 prosecution witnesses, 10 defense witnesses and two prosecution rebuttal witnesses. Smith did not testify herself. The prosecution witnesses included Porter, who denied hurting Kelsey and blamed his ex-wife for the death. He also said he saw Smith abuse Kelsey three times. Jurors learned during the trial that Kelsey suffered a series of injuries in the last months of her life. She broke a collarbone in January 2005 and both legs in April 2005. She repeatedly was turning up with bruises on her face and body and bumps around her nose. She once had red prickly marks on her rear. Her defense attorney, Steve Huddleston, told jurors today there was no evidence Smith was responsible for the injuries. He also said she would never have let her then-husband hurt the girl. "Ladies and gentlemen, this case, from start to finish, is full of doubt,” the defense attorney said. "I still have a lot of questions. And what do questions lead to? Questions lead to doubt.” He said Smith was only charged because of pressure from the family of Kelsey's father, particularly Kelsey's outspoken grandmother, Kathie Briggs. He said Briggs bizarrely even met with Porter to try to get evidence against Smith. The defense attorney said, "She has been through enough. ... It is time to stop it. It is time to draw the line in the sand and say, ‘It stops here.' ... I need you to stand up for her. ... Stand up. Stop it. Stop this stuff now.” If convicted, Smith faces up to life in prison.
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