Defense Calls Slain Toddler's Grandmother To The Stand

Tuesday, July 17th 2007, 6:28 am
By: News On 6

BRISTOW, Okla. (AP) _ Prosecutors rested their case Monday while defense attorneys began theirs in the felony child-abuse case against a mother accused in the death of her 2-year-old daughter.

Raye Dawn Smith is charged with child abuse or enabling child abuse. Prosecutors contend she either hurt her 2-year-old daughter herself or allowed her then-husband to hurt the child. Smith, 27, denies wrongdoing.

Kelsey Smith-Briggs died on Oct. 11, 2005, at the home of her mother and stepfather near Meeker. Jurors have been told she suffered repeated injuries in the last months of her life, including a broken collarbone, broken shins and bruises on the face and body.

Michael Porter, the child's stepfather, initially was charged with sexually assaulting and killing the child, but he pleaded guilty to enabling child abuse under a deal with prosecutors and was sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Porter testified last week that he believes Smith is responsible for Kelsey's death.

The final prosecution witnesses Monday included a University of Oklahoma children's orthopedic surgeon who testified he was certain Kelsey's broken legs were from abuse.

Dr. Andy Sullivan examined Kelsey on May 2, 2005, in Oklahoma City and found she had suffered spiral cracks to both shin bones. He testified he believes they were broken at different times. He looked at Kelsey after she was brought in by her paternal grandmother.

The doctors said such an injury can happen when the bone is twisted as someone slings a child by the leg in anger. He said three other experts at OU confirmed his finding Kelsey was abused.

``Dr. Sullivan, any doubt in your mind this was child abuse?'' a prosecutor asked.

``Absolutely none,'' he said.

Prosecutors allege the mother covered up the abuse by blaming injuries on accidents, such as a fall.

The defense's first witness _ Smith's mother, Gayla Smith _ said her daughter wanted an autopsy to be performed on Kelsey's body, but that Porter objected.

Gayla Smith also said her daughter cooperated with state Department of Human Services workers in an effort to regain custody of Kelsey and that Raye Dawn Smith also cooperated with authorities who investigated Kelsey's death.

More of Raye Dawn Smith's relatives are scheduled to testify Tuesday, but she is not expected to take the stand in her own defense.

Watch the video: Child Abuse Trial Continues

Related Stories:

10/14/2005 Medical Examiner Rules A Meeker Child's Death A Homicide

10/15/2005 Funeral Services Held For 2 Year Old Meeker Girl

11/18/2005 DHS Increases Security After Threats In Chandler

12/5/2005 Father Of Slain Meeker Girl Sues State For $15 Million

12/22/2005 Meeker Man Accused In Toddler's Death Released From The Lincoln County Jail After Making Bail

2/16/2006 Grand Jury To Investigate Death Of Lincoln County 2-Year-Old

2/23/2006 Multi-County Grand Jury Hears Testimony In Case Of Child Killed

2/23/2006 Charges Filed Against Mother Of 2 Year Old Meeker Girl Who Died Last Year

3/3/2006 State House passes child abuse, neglect measure

5/2/2006 Body Of 2 Year Old Meeker Girl Returned After Second Autopsy

5/20/2006 Father Of Slain Toddler Sues DHS

5/27/2006 Governor Signs 'Kelsey's Law' Child Abuse And Neglect Measure

6/27/2006 DHS Attorney Seeking To Move Lawsuit To Federal Court

6/30/2006 Father Of Slain Meeker Girl Arrested On Abuse Count

7/8/2006 Misdemeanor Charges Filed Against Father Of Dead Toddler

8/1/2006 Kelsey's Law Signed By Governor

8/23/2006 Stepfather Ordered To Stand Trial In 2-Year-Old Meeker Girl’s Death

9/6/2006 Stepfather Charged In 2-Year-Old Meeker Girl's Death Is Arraigned

9/22/2006 Mother Of Slain Meeker Girl Waives Hearing

11/30/2006 Chandler Man Accused In Stepdaughter's Death Gets Trial Date

1/12/2007 Kelsey's Father Gets Deferred Sentence In Assault Case

1/30/2007 Stepfather Agrees To Plea Deal In Meeker Toddler's Death

2/2/2007 Stepfather Gets 30 Years In Toddler's Death

4/27/2007 - Mother Of Slain Toddler Ordered To Stand Trial On Abuse Charges

6/12/2007 Trial For Mother Of Dead Toddler Moved

6/20/2007 Judge In Kelsey Smith-Briggs Case To Speak

6/21/2007 Judge Defends Actions

7/1/2007 Report Cites Numerous Problems With DHS Probe

7/3/2007 - Prosecutors Have New Witness In Kelsey Smith-Briggs Case

7/9/2007 - Trial To Begin For Mother Of Slain Girl

7/10/2007 - Stepfather Testifies In Ex-Wife's Child-Abuse Trial

7/11/2007 Grandmother Of Slain 2-Year-Old Testifies

7/12/2007 Testimony Says Smith Called Daughter "Jealous"

7/14/2007 - Toddler: `Daddy Mike Hurt My Head'

7/16/2007 - State Rests Its Case In Child Abuse Trial