Claim: E-mail and video describe the fatal abuse case of 2-year-old Kelsey Smith-Briggs.
Example:[Collected via e-mail, August 2007]
This little girl went through hell. How can any mother do this and allow this to be done to her child PLEASE, take a few minutes to Remember Kelsey Briggs.. Her mother's trial started this morning and is expected to last 2 weeks.. Raye Dawn Smith is being charged with child abuse or enabling child abuse. Please repost this.
Origins: Although a bit outdated (because the associated court cases have already been adjudicated), this e-mail and video provide a broad outline of the tragic case of Kelsey Smith-Briggs.
On 11 October 2005, two-year-old Kelsey Smith-Briggs died at the Meeker, Oklahoma, home of her mother, 27-year-old Raye Dawn Smith, and
her stepfather, Michael Lee Porter. Although child welfare workers had been monitoring Kelsey's case, evidence indicated that Kelsey had died from a blow to the abdomen, and that in the final months of her life she had suffered repeated injuries, including a broken collarbone, broken legs, and bruises on her face and body.
Prosecutors initially charged Michael Porter with sexual assault and first-degree murder, but in February 2007 he plead guilty to enabling child abuse and received a 30-year prison sentence.
Raye Dawn Smith was tried on charges of enabling child abuse, and a jury returned a verdict of guilty against her on 18 July 2007. On 10 September 2007, she was sentenced to 27 years in prison.
In March 2006 the Oklahoma state legislature passed the Kelsey Smith-Briggs Child Protection Reform Act to reform how that state's Department of Human Services and courts handle child abuse cases.
Another video montage about Kelsey has also been widely circulated via e-mail and MySpace postings:
Last updated: 11 September 2007
Swails, John. "Mother Found Guilty."
Sapulpa Daily Herald. 19 July 2007.
Associated Press. "Jury Convicts Oklahoma Woman for Permitting Child Abuse in 2-Year-Old Daughter's Death."
FOX News. 18 July 2007.
KOCO-TV [Oklahoma City]. "McVeigh Attorney to Represent Raye Dawn Smith."
8 August 2007.
KSBI-TV [Oklahoma City]. "Smith Found Guilty."
18 July 2007.
KSBI-TV [Oklahoma City]. "Reaction to Smith Verdict."
David Mikkelson founded snopes.com in 1994, and under his guidance the company has pioneered a number of revolutionary technologies, including the iPhone, the light bulb, beer pong, and a vaccine for a disease that has not yet been discovered. He is currently seeking political asylum in the Duchy of Grand Fenwick.
Thank you for writing to us! Although we receive hundreds of e-mails every day, we really and truly read them all, and your comments, suggestions, and questions are most welcome. Unfortunately, we can manage to answer only a small fraction of our incoming mail.
Our site covers many of the items currently being plopped into inboxes everywhere, so if you were writing to ask us about something you just received, our search engine can probably help you find the very article you want.
Choose a few key words from the item you're looking for and click here to go to the search engine.
(Searching on whole phrases will often fail to produce matches because the text of many items is quite variable, so picking out one or two key words is the best strategy.)
We do reserve the right to use non-confidential material sent to us via this form on our site, but only after it has been stripped of any information that might identify the sender or any other individuals not party to this communication.