Well-known attorney will represent Kelsey's mom

By Nolan Clay Modified: August 8, 2007 at 11:02 am •  Published: August 7, 2007
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BRISTOW — Well-known attorney Stephen Jones said Tuesday he has been hired to represent the mother of Kelsey Smith-Briggs.

Jones met with Raye Dawn Smith for an hour Monday in jail in Sapulpa. He said he was hired by her family last week.

Jurors on July 18 found Smith guilty of enabling child abuse. They voted on a punishment of 27 years in prison. Formal sentencing is set for Aug. 23 in Bristow.

Jones said he may request a new trial and will handle Smith's appeal, if necessary. He may seek a delay of the sentencing.

Kelsey, 2, died Oct. 11, 2005, at her home near Meeker after months of suffering broken bones, bruises and other injuries. At trial, prosecutors alleged Kelsey's stepfather abused the child and eventually sexually assaulted and murdered her and that Smith did nothing to stop it.

"It was pretty obvious she knew what was going on and seemingly didn't do anything about it,” one juror said after the verdict.

Smith, 27, denies that she let anyone hurt Kelsey but she did not testify at her trial. Kelsey's stepfather, Michael Lee Porter, once was charged with murdering Kelsey but, in February, pleaded guilty instead to enabling child abuse. He is serving 30 years in prison.

Jones has been known in Oklahoma for years. He has run for U.S. Senate, defended Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh and represented a former page involved in last year's congressional scandal. He is based in Enid.