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Law office of former Oklahoma judge is searched

Investigators spent Thursday searching the Chandler law office of attorney Craig Key, a former judge. Key is best-known for returning Kelsey Smith-Briggs to her mother against Oklahoma Department of Human Services' advice.
by Nolan Clay and Randy Ellis Modified: March 21, 2013 at 10:28 pm •  Published: March 22, 2013
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CHANDLER — Investigators Thursday searched the law office here of attorney Craig Key, who was the judge in the widely publicized Kelsey Smith-Briggs case.

The search arose from an investigation by Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt's office and the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, Assistant Attorney General Megan Tilly confirmed.

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol assisted in the search, she said.

Key, 47, was not arrested. His attorney did not return a call for comment Thursday.

Key is suspected of involvement in cattle theft and other crimes, The Oklahoman has learned. Investigators Thursday also seized his cellphone, The Oklahoman has learned.

Key was the former Lincoln County associate district judge who lost re-election in 2006 after he was widely criticized for his handling of the abused girl's case.

Kelsey, 2, died on Oct. 11, 2005, at her Meeker home. She had suffered repeated injuries in the year before her death.

Key was criticized because he had returned Kelsey four months before her death to her mother even though the mother was suspected of abusing her.

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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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by Randy Ellis
Investigative Reporter
For the past 30 years, staff writer Randy Ellis has exposed public corruption and government mismanagement in news articles. Ellis has investigated problems in Oklahoma's higher education institutions and wrote stories that ultimately led to two...
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