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Pastor tells about day Kelsey died

By Nolan Clay Modified: July 17, 2007 at 11:42 pm •  Published: July 17, 2007
The pastor said Porter claimed he tried to save her with CPR.

"He said, ‘I just hope I wasn't too rough with her,'” the pastor said.

Another witness, former Prague police officer Scott Murrison, said he saw Porter pounding the bed of a pickup outside the hospital. The former officer recalled Porter saying, "She's never going to forgive me. She's never going to forgive me.”

Porter, 27, denies hurting Kelsey. He told jurors last week he thinks his ex-wife is responsible for Kelsey's death. He said he discovered Kelsey was in bed not breathing shortly after his wife left him alone with the girl.

The two divorced after Kelsey died. He also told jurors he saw his ex-wife abuse Kelsey three times.

Porter is serving 30 years in prison. He once was charged with sexually assaulting and murdering Kelsey but pleaded guilty instead to enabling child abuse under a deal with prosecutors.

Other defense witnesses described how Porter threatened to commit suicide two days after Kelsey died. Smith's attorneys contend he was faking.

Porter at first had a gun in the bedroom of his house and then was believed to have overdosed on Tylenol pills there, witnesses said.

During the trial, jurors were told Kelsey suffered repeated injuries in the months before her death. She was taken from her mother for a while and later split time between her mother and paternal grandmother, Kathie Briggs. She later spent about six weeks at her maternal grandmother's house before being returned to her mother in mid-June 2005.

Her mother took Kelsey to a Shawnee medical clinic on April 25, 2005, after the child returned from Briggs' house and couldn't walk, according to testimony. Doctors there found she had broken both shin bones. Doctors later concluded the broken legs were caused by abuse.

Defense witnesses also have told jurors the mother mostly used timeouts to discipline Kelsey. Two of Smith's sisters, a sister-in-law and a friend testified Tuesday they were often around Porter and saw nothing that would indicate to them he was capable of abuse. has disabled the comments for this article.

Judge won't testify
A controversial former judge will not be testifying at the child-abuse trial for the mother of Kelsey Smith-Briggs.

Former Lincoln County Associate District Judge Craig Key has been widely criticized for returning the toddler to her mother four months before the girl's death. The mother's attorneys wanted to use him as a defense witness. The trial judge, Paul Vassar, refused Tuesday to allow it, without explanation. Prosecutors had warned letting the ex-judge testify could turn the trial into a circus.


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