Timeline of the last nine months of Kelsey's life.

Following is an all-inclusive timeline that is a combination of Kathie Briggs's (marked with KB), Judge Key's (marked with JK), what we've discovered (marked with FKM), and OCCY's (marked with OCCY). Below this timeline are Judge Key's and Kathie Briggs's separate timelines.

 

FKM- 10-2004 – Kelsey’s daycare provider reported to DHS her concerns about bruising on Kelsey after she returned from visits with her father. The provider stated Kelsey had bruises on her knees and bottom that looked like marks from fingers.

FKM- Fall and Winter, 2004 – Raye Dawn tried to get clear pictures of the bruising to Kelsey’s ear when she would return from visits with the paternal family, but the pictures didn’t come out clear. They were turned over to the DA and never returned that we know of.

During this time Debbie Hammon, Gayla's ex-sister-in-law told Gayla that the Briggs were gearing up for a custody battle.

FKM- Sometime in the middle of all this, according to Raye Dawn, Kathie suggested Kelsey be put on Ritalin for hyperactivity and Kathie had Kelsey allergy tested. Raye Dawn picked Kelsey up at one point and she had several puncture marks from the allergy testing. Raye Dawn said Kelsey did not have a problem with allergies but when she picked up Kelsey from Kathie’s home, Kathie gave her bottles of cough and cold medicine that were usually almost empty.

FKM – 1 - 2005, Mike Porter verified with DHS worker that he saw bruising on Kelsey’s ear that Raye Dawn had reported seeing when she picked Kelsey up from a visitation with Lance.

JK- January 8, 2005 – Kelsey suffers a broken collarbone and bruises to her face while in care of Raye Dawn Smith.

JK- January 10, 2005 – Raye Dawn takes Kelsey to the emergency room in Shawnee, Oklahoma. The doctors diagnose Kelsey with a broken clavicle (collarbone) and observe scratches to her neck and arm.

JK- January 13, 2005 – Raye Dawn and Kelsey spend the night with Gayla Smith.

JK- January 14, 2005 – Raye Dawn picks up Kelsey from her daycare at 5pm and takes her to Kathie Briggs at 6pm.

JK- January 14, 2005 at 11pm – Lance and Ashley Briggs, Kelsey’s father and step-mother, take Kelsey to the emergency room in Shawnee, Oklahoma where Kelsey has bruises to her buttocks and the side of her face.

JK- January 16, 2005 – Kathie refuses to return Kelsey to Raye Dawn and keeps her overnight.

JK- January 17, 2005 – Raye Dawn goes to the Meeker police to report Kathie’s refusal to return Kelsey. The police make Kathie return Kelsey to Raye Dawn.

FKM- 1-17-2005- The paternal family made two separate reports to DHS about Kelsey’s bruising and collarbone.

OCCY - On Monday January 17, 2005, at 12:58pm, referral 961635 was received by the DHS regarding Kelsey Smith-Briggs, a two year old child. The referral was assigned as a Priority One.  A reporter alleged that Kelsey had a broken collarbone, bruising on her face and body, and abrasions on her bottom and neck. According to the reporter, the child had fallen out of bed on January 8, 2005, while sleeping at home.  Kelsey was taken to the emergency room in Shawnee at Unity North Hospital.  The reporter also stated that Meeker Police were called and took a report. The child was not placed in protective custody because she was with the grandparents over the weekend.  Allegedly, the bruises on the child were different ages and some were fading.

A second referral was received on the same day, January 17, 2005 (Referral 961655).  The reporter alleged Kelsey was covered with bruises and had a broken collarbone.  Allegedly an emergency room staff person stated the injuries the child sustained were in various stages of healing and could not have been caused by one fall. Referral documentation indicated the biological mother went to the Meeker Police and insisted the child had no marks on her when given to the father’s family.  Allegedly, the emergency room physician stated the injuries were more consistent of a beating with an object such as a hair brush. The referral was combined with open referral 961635.

OCCY - On Tuesday January 18, 2005, Kristal Johnson,  intake worker for Lincoln County Child Welfare, telephoned Kelsey’s daycare provider at 11:12 a.m. but, was told Kelsey was not in attendance. The daycare provider reported that Raye-Dawn Smith (Kelsey’s mother) had called and informed her Kelsey had a doctor’s appointment and would not be attending a second attempt to contact the family at the mothers apartment at 12:05 p.m. also failed. The intake worker contacted the daycare provider the following day and again Kelsey was not there. The provider reported she did not know why Kelsey was not attending.

According to Kristal Johnson’s report, the provider stated that she had some concerns about some of the bruises Kelsey had when she came back from visiting her father’s house. She reported seeing bruises on her knee and on her bottom that looked like finger prints. (According to court transcripts dated Friday February 4, 2005, the provider reported her concerns to Janette Tyler, the DHS daycare licensing worker, The provider stated Janette instructed her to “turn it in”. DHS Documentation does not record the provider’s report. In an interview with OJSO, Janette Tyler could not recall the reported conversation.)

FKM- 1-19-2005 – Raye Dawn and Kelsey met with DHS worker. Worker had Raye Dawn remove Kelsey’s clothes and she noticed faded bruising on Kelsey’s bottom.

FKM- 1-19-2005 – Raye Dawn agreed to leave Kelsey with Gayla overnight.

OCCY- Hospital records from Friday January 14, 2005, documented that DHS and law enforcement were notified regarding Kelsey’s injuries.  DHS has no record of this referral. Police reports regarding this incident were provided to DHS on January 19, 2005.

OCCY - Kristal Johnson reported an interview with Kelsey on Wednesday, January 19, 2005, at 11:30 a.m., in the DHS county office. Upon request, the mother removed Kelsey’s clothes for examination. The worker reported the “Child’s physical condition is good”, and noted fading bruises on her left thigh and bottom.  The mother reported that Kelsey had broken her collarbone on Saturday January 8, 2005. She observed bruising to Kelsey’s face above the right eye brow, and swelling to the collarbone on the right side, but she did not believe Kelsey to be hurt.  The following morning Raye Dawn Smith went to work and left Kelsey at Mildred Fowler’s house. (Kelsey’s great-grandmother) The child was not taken to the doctor until Raye Dawn Smith returned from work that evening.

Raye Dawn Smith also interviewed on January 19, 2005 at 5:00p.m. at her home. The mother signed a voluntary service agreement to leave Kelsey with Mildred Fowler for the night.

Mike Porter was interviewed at 5:30 p.m. on January 19, 2005.  He was at Raye Dawn Smith’s home at the time of the interview.  Mike Porter stated Raye Dawn Smith told him Kelsey had climbed out of her bed and had broken her collarbone. Mike porter reported that he was never alone with Kelsey.  On the day of the interview,  Mike Porter’s children were also present in Raye Dawn Smith’s home.

Kristal Johnson interviewed the emergency room physician, Dr. Carl Griffen, on Wednesday, January 19, 2005. Dr. Griffen stated Kelsey had a bruise on the right side of her face that was not consistent with the fall from the bed, but the physician could not with certainty indicate if bruise resulted from abuse.

JK- January 21, 2005 – Raye Dawn Smith takes Kelsey to doctor to find out why she bruises easily.

 JK- January 24, 2005 – Royce and Kathie Briggs apply for emergency guardianship. I sign a custody order granting emergency temporary custody to the Briggs. Kathie Briggs goes to Kelsey’s daycare with the police and takes immediate custody of Kelsey.

OCCY- On Monday, January 24, 2005, Raye Dawn Smith contacted Kristal Johnson to inform her she had taken Kelsey to the doctor (Dr. Debra Katcher) the previous Friday, January 21. The mother reported blood tests had been completed to determine if Kelsey had a condition that could cause her to bruise easily. The same day, a petition for appointment of guardian of a minor child was filed and granted in Lincoln County, naming Royce and Kathie Briggs, the paternal grandparents.  Judge Craig Key signed an emergency special letter of guardianship, naming Kathie Briggs as the temporary guardian and set the hearing for February 4, 2005.  Kelsey’s first guardian ad litem, Sheila Kirk, was appointed by the court on January 24, 2005.

Kristal Johnson interviewed Lance Briggs on Monday, January 24, 2005.  Lance reported that during their marriage, Raye Dawn Smith and he would drink heavily.  According to Lance Briggs, he had stopped drinking but Raye Dawn Smith continued to drink.  Lance Briggs stated that mutual friends had reported to him that Raye Dawn Smith would drink and drive on back roade with Kelsey in the car. Lance briggs expressed concern that Raye Dawn Smith could lose her temper with Kelsey if she was drinking.

OCCY - On Friday, January 28, 2005, the second guardian ad litem, Joseph Dobry, was appointed by the court, replacing the previous guardian ad litem.

OCCY - Raye Dawn Smith was re-interviewed on Thursday, February 3, 2005, by Kristal Johnson.  Raye Dawn Smith continued to deny any knowledge of the bruises. She admitted that she had spanked Kelsey on the bottom of her diaper but not hard enough to leave a mark.

JK- February 4, 2005 – I conduct a trial on the guardianship to determine if Kathie and Royce Briggs should remain guardians of Kelsey. Based on the statements of DHS and other facts, which will be discussed in detail later in the book, I leave Kelsey in the temporary custody of the Briggs and grant Raye Dawn supervised visitation.

FKM- 2-4-2008 – Raye Dawn was granted visitation in the presence of Raye’s grandmother, Mildred Fowler.

OCCY- On Friday, February 4, 2005, Lance Briggs consented to the guardianship petition filed by his parents. The document was signed and notarized in another state.

On Friday, February 4, 2005, the matter of the guardianship of Kelsey was considered by Associate District Judge Craig S. Key of Lincoln County. Kristal Johnson, child welfare intake worker appeared on behalf of the petitioners (paternal grandparents) The worker reported that, if in the event the child was not placed in the guardianship of the grandparents, the DHS would recommend that the child be placed in the emergency custody of the DHS.  Meeker police officer Matthew Byers appeared on behalf of the mother. He indicated his belief that child abuse had not been perpetrated against Kelsey. A second officer, Carl Lee Leabo, concurred, stating”[The child] has not been abused; just standard childhood injuries.” The Court orderer continued placement in the home of the petitioners (paternal grandparents). The Court granted the mother visitation to be conducted with the Mildred Fowler.  The DHS was requested to complete their investigation by Friday, February 11, 2005.

FKM- Sometime in February, 2005 – Raye Dawn picked Kelsey up for a visit and according to Raye Dawn, Kelsey didn’t have on her collarbone brace and she still had several days left that she was supposed to wear it. Raye Dawn asked Kathie for the brace and Kathie said she didn’t know where it was. Raye Dawn told her to find it. Kathie found it at some point and gave it to Raye Dawn and Raye Dawn put it on Kelsey when she had her until it was time to remove the brace.

OCCY - On Thursday, February 10, 2005, the DHS child welfare investigation regarding referral 961635 was completed with the findings: “Confirm-Services Recommended”. According to the Report to the District Attorney, the investigation indicated that the mother’s stories regarding the night of the broken collarbone were conflicting. The facial bruising, noted by Dr. Carl Griffen, on Friday, January 14, 2005 was not evident on the evening Kelsey presented with a broken clavicle, Monday, January 10, 2005. Dr. Griffen reported that the bruises were non-accidental and the result of abuse. Based on the injuries received, the mother’s denial of seeing the bruising on her child and no plausible explanation of the bruising, child welfare confirmed abuse against the mother. The child welfare worker recommended that Kelsey not be returned to the custody of her mother as her safety could not be assured.  The worker also recommended that:

. . .a deprived petition be filed in regards to Kelsey with DHS supervision as long as Kelsey is out of the home of her mother and in a guardianship with grandparents. This will allow Ms. Smith an opportunity to work a court ordered treatment plan to address the abuse to Kelsey. DHS would ask that should Kelsey return to her mother prior to completing a treatment plan, that she be placed in DHS custody and removed from the home of Ms. Smith.

In the box “Recommendation to the District Attorney, “ the “Deprived Petition Requested”, was checked, “No” and the finding was “Confirm – Services Recommended”. Based on the request within the summary/recommendation, a deprived petition was requested, and the District Attorney filed a petition within two weeks of this report.

At the next court date on Friday February 11, 2005, the mother was granted supervised visitation every week from Friday, 6:00 p.m., to Monday noon. The visitation schedule was ordered less then a month after Kelsey’s injuries were discovered and the day after DHS confirmed abuse with the mother as the perpetrator. The guardianship hearing was postponed to Friday March 11, 2005, with both the pending deprived and guardianship cases to be heard simultaneously.

JK- February 11, 2005 – Case had been continued to this date to allow DHS to complete investigation. DA’s office asks for 30 days to file deprived petition, the hearing is continued to March 11, 2005.

JK- February 23, 2005 – DA files their petition seeking to have Kelsey adjudicated deprived.

OCCY - On Wednesday, February 23, the District Attorney’s office filed a petition before the Lincoln County Court. The petition sought to establish Kelsey deprived and stated:

The Respondent Juvenile has been physically abused as evidenced by bruising and abrasions on her buttocks, thigh, lower back, and face. The Respondent mother and father either perpetrated the acts of abuse or filed[failed] to protect Respondent Juvenile from said abuse.

 

JK- March 11, 2005 – Parties meet for the continued hearing and the case is continued to June 6th with the guardianship and deprived cases consolidated to be heard jointly.

OCCY - Court was held in Lincoln County on Friday March 11, 2005.  The temporary order previously entered into  was ordered to remain in effect pending further review on June 6, 2005. According to court records, the previous orders were modified and the court order stated:

a.      The guardians are granted one (1) weekend per month of visitation with the minor child and, unless other agreement is made between the parties, that weekend shall be the last weekend of each month during the pendency of these proceedings.

b.      That in the event the natural father, Lance Briggs, is available to travel to the State of Oklahoma prior to hid deployment, the minor child shall be allowed to see the father in the State of Oklahoma regardless of whose weekend visitation might normally be scheduled.

c.      That the natural mother, Raye Dawn Smith, is hereby granted overnight visitation on each Wednesday, beginning March 16, 2005, from noon on Wednesday until noon on Thursday.

d.      That the visitation previously ordered with regard to the mother may now be unsupervised as long as Michael Porter is not in the home where the child might be residing during the periods of visitation.

e.      That the parties may switch weekends by agreement and the weekends be made up as called for and as reflected in this Order.

 JK- March 11, 2005 – After court, DHS meets with Raye Dawn, her attorney, Greg Wilson, and Kelsey’s court appointed attorney where she is advised of the classes she must complete to have Kelsey returned.

FKM- 3-11-2005 The court ordered unsupervised visits to Raye Dawn as long as Mike Porter was not in the home.

KB- 3-14 3-14-2005--small bruise on head while with maternal uncle

KB- 3-21-2005--Raye Dawn stated she got blood in her eye from a sore on her hand. Eye had been matted shut that morning. Got Kelsey home she said her mouth hurt and she had green snot in nose. Called and got her Dr. appointment for the next morning. She had a sore throat, eye infection, and sinus infection needed more antibiotics.

KB- 3-24 3-24-2005--entire bridge of nose was blue, Raye Dawn said she fell at her apartment. Later that day nose was slightly more swollen and Kelsey complained so I took her to the ER for x-ray at approximately 8:45. Doctor then came in and said he had called DHS. I told him I would call and speak to caseworker the next morning. It was around midnight when we left

OCCY - On Thursday, March 24, 2005, DHS received new reports of bruising (Referral973247). The investigation was assigned as Priority One. Reportedly, a two year old child had been seen at a medical facility for a bruise on her nose and right knee and a closed head injury resulting from a fall at the mother’s house. According to the reporter, anytime a child breaks or injures their nose, it is documented as a closed head injury. On Friday, the following day, Kristal Johnson examined the child at the DHS office, accompanied by Kathie Briggs. 2 Kelsey was sleeping. regards to Kelsey with DHS supervision as long as Kelsey is out of the home of her mother and in a guardianship with grandparents.” The finding should have been “Confirmed Report – Court Intervention” DHS Policy 340:75-3-10.2 (2), (D), states “A finding of confirmed report-court intervention is made when the report is determined, based upon credible evidence, to constitute child abuse or neglect that is Violations of Policy.

2- The DHS did not follow investigation protocol. DHS policy 340:75-3-8(f), (1), states: “The initial contact with the family is an unannounced visit to the home. “DHS policy allows for investigative protocol to be modified. There was no documentation to indicate modification of protocol.

Kristal Johnson attempted to wake her but she would not wake up. A second visit was attempted on Tuesday April 5, 2005. The child welfare worker reported that Kelsey was “so tired she wouldn’t wake up”.

 

JK- March 24, 2005 – Kelsey suffers a bruise on her nose and right knee after a fall while visiting Raye Dawn Smith at her Meeker apartment.

JK- March 24, 2005 - Kathie and Ashley Briggs take Kelsey to the emergency room to have the injuries documented for DHS. The Briggs tell ER personnel they believe Raye Dawn’s story of Kelsey falling, but just want the bruise documented for the custody case.

FKM- 3-24-2005 – Paternal family reported bruising and injuries from Kelsey’s accidental fall to DHS. Kelsey was walking in front of Raye Dawn and she looked back to see if Raye Dawn was following her and she tripped and fell.

KB- 3-25-2005--Called Yolanda Hunter and left voice message. Krystal Johnson called and asked why I did not report the nose at noon the previous day. I told her I did not feel it was serious and I thought I was only suppose to document each bruise. She slightly scolded me and stated it should have been called in.

FKM- 3-25-2005 – Kathie took Kelsey to the DHS office and the worker could not wake Kelsey up to examine her.

KB- 3-31 3-31-2005--had 2 small bruises on back and 2 on leg.

JK- March 31, 2005 – Kelsey’s hair starts falling out to the point that she has a bald spot the size of a baseball and she starts self-mutilating by biting herself while in the custody of Kathie Briggs.

OCCY - Raye Dawn Smith contacted Kristal Johnson on Thursday March 31, 2005, stating she had concerns because Kelsey’s hair was falling out. 

FKM- 4-5-2005 – DHS tried to examine Kelsey, but again, she would not wake up.

KB- 4-5-2005--bruises on Kelsey. Ashley contacted DHS. Krystal Johnson made home visit and took pictures. I failed to accurately document this with list of witnesses.

OCCY - Kristal Johnson interviewed the father, Lance Briggs, on Tuesday April 5, 2005, regarding the new allegations.  Lance Briggs reported that he flew to Oklahoma the day before the visit. (Lance Briggs was in the military, and was previously stationed in New Jersey.) He compressed concern regarding Kelsey having bruises every time she came back from her visiting her mother.  He described Kelsey as an active child, but stated that Kelsey was active around his mother, Kathie Briggs, as well. He did not approve of unsupervised visits between Raye Dawn Smith and Kelsey.

JK- April 14, 2005 – Kelsey suffers a sprained ankle while at the zoo with Raye Dawn Smith’s sister-in-law, Miste. Raye Dawn and Miste take Kelsey to the emergency room where her ankle is X-rayed and she is diagnosed with a sprained ankle. (Allegedly, Kathie later stated that Miste should be charged with child abuse because Kelsey was in Miste’s care when she fell at the zoo.)

KB- 4-14 4-14-2005--sprained ankle-bite mark that Kelsey said she put on herself on her lower arm, another bruise on arm, bruise on right thigh April 14—Kelsey sprains ankle while with maternal aunt. She is returned to me at 6:30pm for a birthday party and Raye is to pick her up again that night at 9:00pm. We called the DHS hotline to report the injury as instructed by Krystal Johnson. They said keep her over night and she needed to be taken to the DHS office the next morning.

FKM- 4-14-2005 – Paternal family reported sprained ankle to DHS that evening along with bruises. Ashley told DHS that her brother had asked Kelsey who hurt her legs and Kelsey told her brother that Mike threw her off the bed and then she ate pizza and french fries.

OCCY - On the evening of Thursday April 14, 2005, the DHS was contacted regarding a sprained ankle and bruising on the child. Referral 977194 was initiated, alleging that Kelsey had a sprained ankle, and bruising on her arms and lower back.  The caller also reported a “yellowish bruising "on Kelsey’s middle back. The on-call child welfare worker Donald Wheeler contacted Ashley Briggs, Kelsey’s stepmother, and Raye Dawn Smith and interviewed the child welfare investigator Kristal Johnson and the child welfare supervisor David Burgess.  According to the referral the supervisor reported:

. . . that there is a bruise on the child’s left arm about the size of a half-dollar below the elbow; Kelsey said that she bit herself but can’t tell for sure if there are teeth marks. There is another bruise on her right arm about the size of a pencil width, not an inch long, and is black. There is a bruise smaller than a dime on the left side of lower back, one on the spine that is yellowish. The child has a sprained ankle which she got at the zoo and was taken to Unity North.

This referral was screened out. In the findings narrative, the worker documented, “There is a current ongoing investigation addressing the same allegations.”

OCCY - On Monday April 14, 2005, Raye Dawn Smith reported to DHS she had taken Kelsey to see Dr. Kellie Koons.  The doctor drew Kelsey’s blood but did not give indication  she knew what could be causing the hair loss.

KB- 4-15 4-15-2005--two bruises on left thigh and one on same leg straight across on inside of leg. April 15—Raye and Miste Smith picked Kelsey up at 9:15 to take her to the DHS office. I asked Raye to call me on Monday morning and let me know how Kelsey’s foot was so I could cancel her Gymnastics class. Krystal Johnson scolded me for calling the hotline.

OCCY - On Friday April 15, 2005, Raye Dawn Smith picked Kelsey up from Kathie Briggs’ home and took her to the DHS office. Kristal Johnson interviewed Raye Dawn Smith regarding the bruises to Kelsey’s right outer thigh, a bruise to her left inside thigh, and bruises to her rib cage. According to Raye Dawn Smith, while visiting at a friends house with Mike Porter, Kelsey leaned on a screen door to see a puppy that was outside. The door came open and Kelsey fell which caused the bruising to her rib cage. The DHS documentation does not indicate whether Raye Dawn Smith addressed the bruises to the thighs.

JK- April 15, 2005 – Kelsey suffers bruising to both thighs and bruising to her rib-cage after falling through screen door while at friend’s house in care of Michael Porter.

KB- 4-16 4-27-2005--had pump knot on nose. Raye Dawn said seven-year-old stepdaughter, Whitney, elbowed her during the night. (This date is wrong. It should be the 27th and not the 16th and 27th)

FKM- 4-16-2005 – Kelsey spent the night with Miste and was walking but limping.

JK- April 18, 2005 – Raye Dawn Smith marries Michael Porter.

OCCY - Mike Porter and Raye Dawn Smith were married in Pottawatomie County on Monday April 18, 2005.

KB- April 18—Raye did not call to give me an update on Kelsey’s foot so Ashley called and spoke with Gymnastics instructor and they advised waiting a week since the injury was so fresh and eliminate any further damage. Raye returned Kelsey at 5:00pm and stated she did not want to walk on her foot yet. She and Mike Porter had married earlier that day.

KB- April 19—My daughter and I took Kelsey to Wal-Mart. She wanted to walk so I put her down and she tried four steps and was done.

JK- April 19 – 21, 2005 – Kelsey is in the home of Kathie Briggs. Raye Dawn takes Kelsey to DHS to report that Kelsey is not walking. Some time later, when questioned about the injury, Kathie tells DHS that Kelsey took four steps on April 19, 2005, but never walked again while in her care. Kathie never contacted anyone or took Kelsey to a doctor after she quit walking. Why?

KB- April 21—My Aunt Janis Cotton came by for a visit around noon. She played with Kelsey and we visited. Around 2:15 she left, Kelsey and I then went to the Elementary School to pick up the other Grandchildren. We sat outside for a few minutes waiting for my daughter. Kelsey tried to take around five steps. We then went into the office and sat and visited with other school personnel. We arrived home around 3:30 and Raye picked Kelsey up at 4:00. Kelsey had stood some during the previous days next to the furniture, but did not try to walk. I did ask the PE Teacher at the school how long I should expect this sprain to last. She stated it depended on the sprain.

KB- April 22—Saw Raye at her apartment in Meeker loading stuff for a garage sale.

KB- April 23—Raye had a garage sale.

JK- April 25, 2005 – Kelsey is in the care of Raye Dawn, who notices the leg Kelsey did not injure is swollen and hot to the touch. She takes Kelsey to the DHS office in Lincoln County and is advised by workers and DHS’s nurse to immediately take Kelsey to the emergency room. Dr. Barrett, an orthopedic specialist in Shawnee, diagnoses Kelsey with two broken legs.

KB- April 25—Yolanda Hunter called and questioned me about Kelsey’s swollen legs. I was not aware of any swelling. She stated both legs were swollen and had fever in them. She instructed Raye to take her to the Doctor. Yolanda called back that afternoon and stated Kelsey had 2 broken legs. She had given Raye permission to keep her overnight and take her for casts the next day. Yolanda called again around 4:00 and advised me to go to the appointment to listen to care instructions by the Doctor.

FKM- 4-25-2005 – Raye Dawn and Gayla took Kelsey to DHS because when Raye Dawn went to Kathie’s to pick up Kelsey, Kelsey was no longer walking. Kathie stated that she did not make Kelsey walk like Raye Dawn had been told by the doctor. So Raye Dawn thought Kelsey’s ankle was stiff. She made Kelsey walk over the weekend and Kelsey didn’t improve. On Monday Raye Dawn and her mother took Kelsey to DHS to report how Kelsey was walking when Raye Dawn dropped her off with Kathie and she couldn’t walk when she picked her up. DHS advised they take Kelsey to the doctor for another visit. The doctor noted that Kelsey’s injuries were consistent with a sprained ankle and overcompensation with the use of the other leg. She also told Raye Dawn that Kelsey’s hair loss could be from stress and recommended a multi-vitamin and Pediasure to try to get Kelsey’s weight back up. Dr. Barrett reported that Kelsey’s ankle sprain was consistent with the twist from the zoo, but the second injury was more recent and occurred when Raye Dawn did not have custody of Kelsey.

OCCY - On Monday April 25, 2005 Raye Dawn Porter and Kelsey’s maternal grandmother, Gayla Smith, visited the DHS office with Kelsey. The child presented with pain, swelling and fever, apparently associated with  injuries to her legs. The DHS advised the mother to take Kelsey to the emergency room immediately. Following the examination by a Shawnee medical Center Clinic physician, Dr. Kellie Koons, the DHS was notified that Kelsey had bi-lateral factures on her right and left tibias. Referral number 979294 was initiated. The referral was assigned as a Priority One.

FKM- 4-2005 – DHS wanted to interview BOTH of Kelsey’s parents regarding her injuries but were told by Kathie that Lance could not be reached.

OCCY - In a Shawnee Medical Center Clinic medical record, dated April 26, 2005, Dr. Koons reported:

X-rays of her tibia show a non-displaced long spiral fracture on both tibia. . . Consult was obtained from Dr. Barrett who evaluated these and felt like the right tibia fracture was consistent with the injury of walking on the flip-flops and twisting her ankle approximately one and a half to two weeks ago and that dated appropriate with the site of the fracture as well as the age of the fracture.  Dr. Barrett felt like the fracture on the left tibia was actually more recent than that, but felt like this could have been due to compensating from the right fracture and felt like there did not necessarily have to be any secondary severe injury to cause this.

The doctor reported that the hair loss was probably due to the child’s stress over the custody dispute. She recommended to the mother Kelsey take a multivitamin  and drink “Pediasure” to help with her nutritional needs. Dr. Koons recommended that Kelsey submit to a bone density test at Children’s hospital. Kelsey’s legs were scheduled to be placed in casts the following day.

Yolanda Hunter, child welfare worker, contacted Kathie Briggs on Monday April 25, 2005 and explained that Kelsey had two broken legs.  On the following day, Yolanda Hunter contacted Kathie Briggs to inquire of contact information  for the father, Lance Briggs.  Kathie Briggs, reported that Lance Briggs was scheduled to leave for Kuwait on Tuesday and she did not want him upset with the news. Yolanda Hunter documented that Kathie Briggs reported contact with the father was not possible.

JK- April 26, 2005 – Dr. Barrett places casts on both of Kelsey’s legs.

KB- April 26—Got a call from my daughter stating Raye’s appointment was earlier than the original time. Dr. Barretts nurse stated she had changed the time and did not know she was to notify me. Raye calls from her Grandmothers around 12:00pm and asked when I wanted Kelsey home. I told her to finish her visit and bring her to me.

JK- April 27, 2005 – Kelsey suffers a bruise to her nose and eyebrow from her step-sister elbowing her in bed while in the care of Raye Dawn Smith and Michael Porter. This is the pumpknot that Kathie referred to earlier in the timeline. Kathie’s date was obviously wrong because here she mentions the knot.

KB- April 27—Met Raye in Meeker at noon to exchange Kelsey for her middle of the week visit.

KB- April 28—Met Raye at noon to get Kelsey back. She had a knot on her nose. Raye stated to my daughter and myself that her seven-year-old stepdaughter had elbowed her. I also told Raye that it had been recommended to me to get a second opinion on Kelsey’s legs. I asked her if she would like to take her and she did. That afternoon Kelsey was crying dramatically for her Mommy. She had never done this before so we contacted Raye to come take her for a ride or to just visit. Before Raye got to my home she had stopped crying and was playing. When Raye tried to pick her up, she would only say “I want Grandma”. While Raye was here we asked her more about Kelsey’s legs and she stated that they had swollen up on Thursday night and had fever in them. She stated she thought it was because she had not been using them and was making her walk all weekend. I also asked her about a mark on her elbow and she stated it was from scraping the wall while trying to walk. Raye left, I asked Kelsey why she did not want her Mom and she stated she wanted Mommy Ashley. So I called Ashley and she went with us to a baseball game that evening. Kelsey was a little restless with her cast on, and couldn’t understand why she could not play on the playground. Ashley then took her to her Grandparents house to swing while I finished watching the game.

FKM- 4-29-2005 – The paternal family reported to DHS there was bruising to Kelsey’s nose and face. DHS workers admonished Kathie for allowing Raye Dawn visits with Mike Porter in the home because it violated the court order.

OCCY - Referral 979997 was received by the DHS on Friday April 29, 2005. The referral was assigned as a Priority One. 7 A caller reported injuries to the bridge of Kelsey’s nose. Reportedly her nose was purple up to her eyebrows and she had a knot the size of a quarter  by her right eye. Allegedly, Kelsey was sleeping in bed with her step sister when the stepsister elbowed her in the nose. The reporter also stated that there were little bruises on Kelsey’s cheeks, as if someone had grabbed her by the face with their fingers.

On Friday April 29, 2005, David Burgess, child welfare supervisor, and Kristal Johnson met with the paternal grandmother, Kathie Briggs,  in her home to discuss the new referral allegations. David Burgess and Kristal Johnson informed Kathie Briggs that she was in violation of the court order restricting Mike Porter from having contact with Kelsey. Kathie Briggs reported that Raye Dawn Smith had allowed Lance Briggs to have extra visits when Lance Briggs was home April 4 through April 11. Kathie Briggs stated that she allowed raye Dawn porter extra visits in an attempt to be fair about visitation. (Yolanda Hunter testified on June 15, 2005 that she knew Mike Porter was living in the home following the marriage of Raye Dawn  and Mike Porter and allowed Kelsey visitation in the Porter home which she perceived to be in violation of the visitation orders of the court.)

KB- April 28--  April 29—David Burgess called and stated someone had seen Kelsey’s nose and reported it. He wanted me to bring Kelsey to Chandler. I had a play at the Elementary to attend and asked him to come to my house. He and Krystal Johnson came over about 3:45. I had all seven of my Grandchildren at my home and my daughter, Robynn to help watch them while I visited. David Burgess took pictures of Kelsey’s nose. It had already gone down over night and looked fine. Ashley had taken some pictures the night before to put in our file. My husband came home at this time for the interview. David looked at the court order I stated Yolanda Hunter had broken the court order by forcing me to leave Kelsey with Raye an extra night. He also stated I could not give Kelsey back to Raye now that she was married unless she had the order modified. He then went on to say he wanted to give Kelsey back to the Mother so we could see where the injuries were coming from. He and Krystal both stated that Whitney Porter, the seven-year-old stepdaughter, would be questioned at school. She attends school in Shawnee so they stated they would contact Pott. County. Around 3:15 that afternoon Mike Porter called me to discuss a letter Greg Wilson had received from Jim Hodgens. He stated his name should not have been singled out unless we were accusing him of child abuse. He asked me several times if I was. I informed him I had not read the letter, but my position was I did not know who had abused Kelsey, I just knew someone had and Raye was responsible to protect her. He stated he had already retained a separate attorney to sue Jim Hodgens and myself for falsely accusing him. Raye called me that evening and inquired about the DHS visit. We discussed Kelsey going home on June 6th. I discussed wanting to waive my summer visitation and save it for Lance whenever he could come home. I told her I thought it would be better for Kelsey to get into a routine and I was happy with my weekend visits I had previously had. I felt the conversation went well. She called again later that night. My daughter was sitting there so I put it on speakerphone. Raye was concerned if I took Kelsey to the Doctor in OKC and they suspected abuse that OK. County would take Kelsey. I explained it was only a second opinion to check into a problem with growth plates and I couldn’t imagine why abuse could be suspected.

KB- April 30—Raye called to see if I could reschedule appointment due to a family funeral. I told her I would try, but if it was going to be several days away that I would take her myself. She asked to have Kelsey during our weekend if there were any family gatherings due to the passing of her Great Grandmother. I agreed.

KB- May 1—Raye called and spoke to my daughter around 1:00pm wanting Kelsey at 3:00. My daughter called me and I came straight home. Raye kept Kelsey until 5:00. She had gotten her hair cut at my suggestion to make it look healthier.

KB- May 2—I called the OU Physicians Clinic to reschedule appointment. The next opening was more than a week away so I kept the one for that same day. Raye came and picked Kelsey up at 11:45 that day for a dinner before the funeral. I met them at the Church at 12:45 to take Kelsey to the doctor. Raye Dawn was disappointed that the appointment was not re-scheduled. My Aunt, Janis Cotton went with me. Dr. Sullivan told me of his suspicion and suggested I call my caseworker.

OCCY - On May 2, 2005, the OSJO received a complaint alleging DHS allowed a child, Kelsey Smith-Briggs, visitation with an abusive parent.

JK- May 2, 2005 – Kathie takes Kelsey to OU Medical Center in Oklahoma City for a second opinion on Kelsey’s broken legs. Dr. Sullivan, an orthopedic specialist, determines Kelsey’s legs may have been broken by non-accidental trauma.

OCCY - Kelsey was seen by Dr. J. Andy Sullivan, a pediatric orthopedist, at Children’s Hospital on Monday May 2, 2005, regarding her legs.

In an affidavit filed in Lincoln Co.  on Tuesday  May 3, 2005 DHS recommended emergency protective custody of Kelsey into DHS custody and documented the following reasons:

1.      It was alleged that on April 14, 2005 the child sprained her right ankle while visiting the zoo with her aunt. On April 18, 2005 the mother brought the child to DHS office and the child was observed not to walk and wanting to be carried. [the date appears to be incorrect as other DHS documentation showed the office visit occurred on April 25, 2005] The worker instructed the mother to take the child to the doctor.  On April 18, 2005 [April 25] the child was taken to a physician in Shawnee for examination. The physician reported to the worker that the child had two bi-lateral fractured of the tibia. The physician reported that she felt it was over-compensation from the right sprained ankle which was a fracture instead of a sprain.  The physician recommended bone genetics testing. The physician that a blood test was completed and the blood work came back normal.                                                                        2. On April 29, 2005, the worker received allegations that Kelsey’s nose was purple up to her eyebrows and that she had a knot the size of a quarter by her right eye. The worker observed the bruise on Kelsey’s nose the same day, and pictures were taken.  It was Alleged that Kelsey got the bruise from being elbowed by another child while sleeping on the night of April 27, 2005.

3.      On May 3, 2005 the worker received information from  an orthopedic surgeon at OU Medical Center in Oklahoma City. The orthopedist saw the child on May 2, 2005 The physician indicated that Kelsey was brought to him for a second opinion and not physician referred. He reported that Kelsey’s injuries (the bilateral fracture of each tibia) were caused from abuse.  He reported that a great amount of force was required to cause a fracture to the tibia.

In the “Report of Suspected Child Abuse and/or Neglect” from OU Medical  Center, dated Monday May 2, 2005 Dr. J. Andy Sullivan reported:

Child has bilateral tibia fractures probably at different stages of healing. Mechanism of injury is twist to the leg. Stress fractures do not occur at this age. I have never seen bilateral toddler fractures of tibia. My diagnosis is bilateral fractures of tibias secondary to abuse.

Douglas P. Beal, MD, reviewed the x-rays of Kelsey’s legs on May 3, 2005. The Diagnostic Radiology Consultation Report from Dr. Beal stated:

There are fractures of the bilateral tibiae[tibia]. Fracture on the right is a spiral fracture of the upper tibiae{tibia] involving the metadiaphyseal region, and the fracture of the left tibia also involves the letadiaphyseal region but is more linear. These fractures appear to be differing ages with periosteal reaction present on the right but not on the left.  While these findings can be seen as toddler’s fractures, consideration should be made for the possibility of non-accidental trauma. This should be correlated closely clinically.

On Tuesday May 3, 2005, the Lincoln County Court placed Kelsey in the emergency protective custody of DHS. A “show cause” hearing was ordered for Thursday May 5, 2005. Documentation does not indicate that the court appointed an attorney to represent the child. DHS placed the child with the maternal grandmother. According to DHS documentation Kristal Johnson, contacted the paternal grandmother, Kathie Briggs, regarding the new placement. During the conversation, Kathie Briggs placed Kristal Johnson on hold to receive a call from the father, Lance Briggs. Kristal Johnson requested Kathie Briggs to inform Lance Briggs of the placement of Kelsey into DHS custody. Kathie Briggs refused,  reportedly because Lance Briggs was “heading off to fight for his country”. Reportedly, Kathie Briggs also stated that she did not have a telephone number or and address for Lance Briggs.

Kristal Johnson documented a first interview with Kelsey regarding her legs on Tuesday May 3, 2005. Kristal Johnson wrote:

Worker asked Kelsey has anyone hurt you  and she nodded “Yes”. Worker asked her who hurt you  and she wouldn’t answer. Worker asked her if she knew what hurt means and she nodded “yes” and pointed to her cast. . . Worker observed Kelsey to pucker up her lips and get a sad look on her face when she was asked who hurt her legs.

On Wednesday May 4, 2005, DHS received a medical report of suspected child abuse. Referral 981030 was initiated. Reportedly, the injuries to Kelsey’s legs were inconsistent with the explanation given by the family. The DHS reported that this referral was regarding the same allegations as referral 979294 and combined referral 981030.

On Wednesday May 4, 2005. Melodie McGregor, Pottawatomie County child welfare worker, contacted that Porters and requested an interview with Raye Dawn Porter, Mike Porter(step-father), and Mike Porter’s daughter, Whitney. Whitney was still in school and Melodie McGregor was able to interview her there. The worker asked about the incident regarding bruising to Kelsey’s nose.  Whitney reported that her father came to wake her up that morning. He asked her if she remembered hitting Kelsey during the night with her elbow.  Whitney told Mike Porter she did not. According to Whitney, Mike Porter told her he thought she did.

Following Whitney’s interview, Melodie McGregor, visited the home of Mike Porter and Raye Dawn Porter. DHS documentation indicated that Mike Porter reported Raye Dawn Porter picked Kelsey up from Kathie Briggs at noon on Wednesday April 27, 205. Raye Dawn Porter’s sister visited the home that evening. Mike Porter stated that the sister (Misty Smith) could verify that Kelsey did not have any bruising at that time. That evening Kelsey requested to sleep with Whitney because she did not like to sleep alone.  The following morning Mike Porter noticed the bump on the left side of Kelsey’s nose and eye.

When Melodie McGregor asked about Kelsey’s broken legs, step-father Mike Porter stated that Raye Dawn Porter’s sister, Misty Smith, had taken Kelsey to the zoo. He went with Raye Dawn Porter to pick up Kelsey that evening after dark.  Raye Dawn Porter asked him to carry Kelsey to the car. When the car door shut, she woke up and stated “Dad, my foot hurts” Mike Porter told the DHS worker that Raye Dawn Porter took Kelsey to Dr. Koons first, and then upon referral to Dr. Barrett.  Then Kelsey went back to stay with Kathie Briggs for a week and a half.  Mike Porter referred to the ankles as a “twist fracture” Reportedly, Dr. Andrea Barrett dated the break to the fall at the zoo. He then stated that the break on the other leg was more recent, but Raye Dawn Porter did not have Kelsey at that time.

Raye Dawn Porter was also interviewed by Melodie McGregor that evening, May 4. Melodie McGregor inquired about Kelsey’s legs  The following is a summary of Melodie McGregor’s interview with Raye Dawn Porter:

Misty Smith, took Kelsey to the zoo on Thursday April 14, 2005. Misty Smith called her at work and told her that Kelsey had twisted her ankle wearing platform flip-flops shoes and Kelsey was refusing to walk.  Misty Smith accompanied Raye Dawn Porter to the hospital. X-rays were taken and Kelsey was diagnosed with a sprained ankle. After leaving the hospital, they dropped Kelsey off at the baseball park in the care of the paternal grandmother, Kathie Briggs. Raye Dawn Porter returned to Kathie Briggs home that evening for Kelsey. According to Raye Dawn Porter, a girl that was not a family member met her outside of the residence and informed her that Kelsey would not be given back to her. Kathie Briggs had taken the child to the Urgent Care Center and upon examination, DHS advised Kathie Briggs to keep her overnight. The following day Raye Dawn Porter was allowed to pick Kelsey up and take her to the DHS office to meet with David Burgess and Kristal Johnson. Kelsey was limping at the time.

Kelsey went to a sleep over at the maternal aunt’s home on Saturday April 16,2005 Kelsey stayed up until 1:30 a.m playing with her cousins. Raye Dawn Porter returned Kelsey to Kathie Briggs on Monday April 18, 2005. According to Raye Dawn Porter Kelsey was crawling when she picked her up on Thursday April 21, 2005. Kathie Briggs informed Raye Dawn Porter that Kelsey had taken four steps and had fallen.

On Monday April 25, 2005 Raye Dawn Porter and Gayla Smith took Kelsey to the DHS office to let the worker see how Kelsey was acting. Raye Dawn Porter stated she left the DHS office and proceeded with Kelsey to Dr. Koons office. According to Raye Dawn Porter, Dr. Koons and Dr. Barrett stated that the right leg was consistent with the zoo injury and the left fracture was about a week old.  Raye Dawn Porter stated that she did not have Kelsey when the left leg was injured.

 The interview was then concluded with Raye Dawn Porter.

KB- May 3—I called David Burgess to report the Doctors opinion. He stated it was possible he would be taking Kelsey into custody. At 4:00 Krystal Johnson called an asked me to bring Kelsey to Chandler to be placed in a foster home.

JK- May 3, 2005 – The District Attorney’s office, at the request of DHS asks that I place Kelsey in protective custody when they determine that both Kathie Briggs and Raye Dawn Smith are suspects to the alleged abuse. Kelsey is placed in the care of Gayla Smith, her maternal grandmother, by DHS.

KB- May 4—We find out Gayla Smith has Kelsey.

KB- May 5—Hearing Time Line

JK- May 5, 2005 – Raye Dawn’s attorney files an application to terminate the Briggs’ guardianship. I conduct a “show cause” hearing and leave legal custody of Kelsey with DHS. Both Raye Dawn and the Briggs are granted four hours of visitation per week, with visitation to occur at and be supervised by DHS. The next hearing is set for June 6, 2005. 

FKM – 5-5-2005 – Gayla took official custody of Kelsey.

OCCY - On Thursday May 5, 2005 Mike Porter was interviewed at the DHS office by Kristal Johnson.  He reported to Kristal Johnson that the bruising to Kelsey’s rig cage and thighs occurred at a friend’s house when Kelsey leaned on a screen door causing it to open. The same day, Greg Wilson, the mother’s attorney, filed application to terminate guardianship previously awarded to the paternal grandmother. The application stated that the mother had completed her “guardianship plan”.

A show cause hearing occurred on May 5, 2005. Brandon Watkins was the third guardian ad litem appointed to represent Kelsey’s interest. The Assistant District Attorney Jeremiah Hagemeier made a recommendation to “retain or leave custody with DHS for the time being”. Legal counsel for the mother, Greg Wilson, concurred. Legal counsel on behalf of the guardians, James Hodgens, entered an objection to placement with the maternal grandmother (Gayla Smith). The guardian ad litem entered an objection to “The department of human services entering this matter to begin with”. The guardian ad litem recommended placement with the maternal grandmother with liberal visitation with regards to the paternal grandparents. Legal counsel on behalf of the mother recommended placement with the maternal grandmother, and to remove the restrictions on visitation by Michael Porter.  Legal counsel on behalf of the guardians recommended that the restriction to visitation by the step father be maintained.  The Assistant District Attorney recommended that visitation be supervised at the DHS office. The guardian ad litem recommended unsupervised visitation. Legal counsel on behalf of the mother recommended that the mother be allowed visitation without DHS supervision. Legal counsel on behalf of the guardians recommended equal supervision for both parties. Kellie Mullen, a DHS supervisor, recommended supervised visitation at the DHS offices.

After considering testimony the Court Determined:

·         The deprived petition is stale (filed on February 23, 2005)

·         Amended petition must be filed by May 11, 2005

·         The child shall remain in the custody of DHS

·         Placement to be determined by DHS [child remained in the home of the maternal grandmother]

·         Each party to be allowed visitation until the next court date

·         Visitation to be four hours a week for the natural mother and the legal guardians

·         Visit to occur at the DHS

·         Hearing set for June 6, 2005

OCCY - On May 9, 2005, the OSBJ received a complaint alleging a grandfather was not given information by the DHS regarding his guardianship status. 

OCCY - Kelsey’s step-mother, Ashley Briggs, was interviewed by Melodie McGregor on Monday, May 9, 2005. The child welfare documentation recorded the following contact information. Ashley Briggs recalled seeing Kelsey at the Ball Field with Kathie Briggs on April 14, 2005. After the fall at the zoo. Ashley Briggs stated that she thought it was odd that Kelsey did not have any scrapes or scratches from the fall. The Briggs’ family then returned to Kathie Briggs house. While diapering Kelsey, Ashley briggs noticed bruises above Kelsey’s lower back, on her thigh, and on her right and left arm. They called DHS and spoke to child welfare worker Donald Wheeler who advised them not to return Kelsey to Raye Dawn Porter.

During the interview, Ashley Briggs informed the child welfare worker of a statement reportedly made by Kelsey. While visiting in the home of Ashley Briggs’ parents, Ashley Briggs brother asked Kelsey who hurt her legs. Kelsey responded, saying that Mike Porter threw her or pushed her off the bed.

JK- May 10, 2005 – I appoint a representative of CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) to investigate and represent Kelsey’s interest.

OCCY - On Tuesday May 10, 2005 Kristal Johnson interviewed Ashley Briggs. She expressed concern about the length of time tht had passed before Raye Dawn Porter took Kelsey to the doctor about her legs. Raye Dawn Porter had Kelsey from April 21 to April 25, 2005.  Ashley Briggs reported that Raye Dawn Porter told Kathie on Thursday April 21st, that Kelsey’s legs were hurting and swelling.  Ashley Briggs stated that she idd not have contact information for Lance Briggs.

The same day, the judge appointed a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) and scheduled a hearing for the deprived and guardian matters on June 06, 2005.

JK- May 11, 2005 – The District Attorney’s office files an amended petition and changes the allegations in their February 23, 2005 petition. The amended petition alleges:

“The Respondent Juvenile has been physically abused as evidenced by her two broken legs. The respondents, mother and paternal grandmother either perpetrated the acts of abuse or failed to protect the respondent juvenile from the abuse.”

OCCY - On Wednesday May 11, 2005 the District Attorney’s office filed an amended petition before the Lincoln County Court. The petition (amended form February 23, 2005) sought to establish Kelsey deprived.  The petition contained all the same information as in the February 23 petition but was amended to include:

The Respondent Juvenile has been physically abused as evidenced by her two broken legs. The respondent mother and Kathy[Kathie] Briggs either perpetrated the acts of abuse or failed to protect the respondent juvenile form{from} the abuse.

From second autopsy: On May 11, 2005 there was a genetics department consultation at University of Oklahoma Medical Center. The written impressions from that evaluation by Dr. Susan Palmer include the possibility of osteogenesis imperfecta, which could not be excluded but was not considered likely, and possible malnutrition. Blood tests for rickets, a skin biopsy, collagen fibroblast culture and tests, and follow-up visitation were recommended from that genetics consult. 

JK- May 12, 2005 – CASA worker contacts DHS and begins reviewing all allegations and DHS files plus court files in order to prepare court report for June hearing.

OCCY - On Friday May 20 , 2005 Kristal Johnson and child welfare supervisor Kelli Mullen interviewed Raye Dawn Porter. Raye Dawn Porter reported that on Friday, April 15, Kelsey went to the maternal aunt’s house that afternoon for a sleepover with friends. (Raye Dawn Porter had previously reported the sleep over occurred on April 16) The mothr reported tht she had Kelsey from Saturday April 16 to Monday April 18, Kathie Briggs had Kelsey form Monday April 18 to Thursday April 21. According to Raye Dawn Porter, Kelsey refused to walk when she was picked up on April 21.  Raye Dawn Porter reported that on the night of Sunday April 24 Kelsey’s legs were “warm to the touch”.  Raye Dawn Porter and her  mother Gayla Smith took Kelsey to the DHS  office on April 25 to request assistance. Raye Dawn Porter expressed her concern that Ashley Briggs was abusing Kelsey in an attempt to frame her because Ashley Briggs wanted Kelsey for her own.  She also expressed concern regarding Kelsey’s contact with Lance Briggs. Raye Dawn Porter reported Lance Briggs had beaten her to the point of losing her second child.  She reported that while Kelsey was placed in the Briggs’ home, her hair fell out and she would not eat, sleep or talk. Raye Dawn Porter denied Kelsey was alone with Mike Porter during the April visits.

Mike porter was also interviewed by Kellie Mullen and Kristal Johnson on Friday May 20, 2005. Mike Porter said that he had pictures of Kelsey standing on both legs, dated Monday April 18.  The worker wrote:

Mike reports that Raye has a very close connection with Kelsey and that when they first started dating he was intimidated by the intensity of their relationship. He reports that Raye places a lot of her sense of self worth on her ability to be a mom and that he has seen Raye’s self esteem drop since she has not had Kelsey.

JK- May 31, 2005 – DHS goes over mother’s Individualized Service Plan and addresses risk factors within the mother’s home, as identified by DHS.

JK- June 1, 2005 – DHS recommends Community Home Based Services (CHBS) be placed in mother’s home upon child’s return to provide better supervision and improve parenting skills so that Kelsey will not sustain any other injuries.

JK- June 1, 2005 – CASA report filed with the Court. CASA recommends:

·      Kelsey be returned to her mother’s custody

·      The paternal grandparents can have supervised visitation one hour every other Saturday

·      Kelsey can spend time at the maternal grandmother’s home, including spending the night

·      If this arrangement does not work out, Kelsey was to be placed in the maternal grandmother’s home until the court decides otherwise

·      Kelsey should be enrolled in Head Start and have a speech therapist help her with her language

·      A request for a 90-day review, due to “having this case such a short time”

OCCY - On Wednesday June 1, 2005 DHS made a referral for services Community Home Based Services to “provide better supervision to improve parenting skills, so that Kelsey will not sustain any other injuries”.

A CASA report to the Court was submitted on June 1, 2005.  The report recommended Kelsey be returned to her mother’s custody, allow the parental grandparents supervised visitation one hour every other Sunday, allow Kelsey time at the maternal grandmother’s home including overnight visits; enroll Kelsey in “head start”, and request assistance of a Speech Therapist.  The CASA representative also recommended, in the event that this arrangement does not work out” to place Kelsey in the maternal grandmother’s home. A ninety-day review period was requested, due to “having this case such a short time”

OCCY - On Thursday June 2, 2005 CHBS worker Andrea Sills attempted to contact DHS to set up the intake for Kelsey.

JK- June 3, 2005 – Lincoln County District Attorney’s office files a motion for continuance to allow DHS additional time to complete their report.

JK- June 6, 2005 – Referral made to DHS by unknown caller alleging neglect of Michael Porter’s children, Kelsey’s step-brother and step-sister. This referral was “screened out” due to the fact the caller could not provide names of anyone who would have seen the abuse.

JK- June 6, 2005 – I continued the court hearing after having all attorneys and DHS in my chambers. I ordered the DHS report to be filed by the close of business on June 10, 2005, and set the hearing on the guardianship and the amended deprived petition for June 14, 2005. I told all attorneys in my chambers the time had come to try this case.

OCCY - On June 6, 2005, the OSJO received a complaint alleging a child suffered from abuse and neglect while in the custody of the DHS.  Upon imitation of the investigation, the OSJO received additional calls of  complaint and inquiry from collateral sources. Following the third inquiry, all complaints regarding Kelsey Smith-Briggs (previous and subsequent) were considered and included in the complaint investigation initiated May 9, 2005.

OCCY - A new referral (referral 986792) was received by DHS on Monday June 6, 2005.  Allegedly, Kelsey’s stepsister and stepbrother (Michael Porter’s Children) were neglected by their father and stepmother. Reportedly, Whitney Porter told someone that she was not to talk about “what went on in their home”. The caller reported that there was a history of domestic violence prior to their marriage. Reportedly, the stepmother recently renewed her license following a DUI conviction. Reportedly, the stepmother had a history of drug usage. The referral was “screened out”. DHS documented that the reporter could not provide collaterals and would not give names of those to whom she had spoken.

On June 6, 2005 the Lincoln County Court granted a continuance in the matter of the guardianship of Kelsey, in order to allow DHS to complete their investigation. The Court ordered the completion and filing of the DHS report by Friday, June 10, 2005. An adjudication hearing was scheduled for June 14, 2005 to hear the amended petition.

OCCY - On the morning of Tuesday June 7, 2005, Cynthia Kinkdale, DHS Coordinator, Information and Referral , addressed an email to Margaret Noble, DHS Office of Information  and Referral, and Debra Winn, Lincoln County Director and stated:

Debra, you may be limited in staff reassignment but I wonder if the Area Office could assign their child welfare specialist ( I think every Area Office has one) to get this case through Adjudication.

The case was not reassigned.

 

On June 7, 2005 the DHS investigation regarding referral 973247 [page 5 of this report] opened March 24, 2005 was closed with the findings: “Services recommended” According to the report  to the District Attorney, the child welfare worker indicated that it was unknown if

Kelsey’s injuries were intentional. Kelsey did not have enough verbal skills to tell what had happened and she did not indicate to DHS that her mother inflicted injuries to her.  The worker recommended that all visitations between Kelsey and the mother be supervised in order to prevent any furtther injuries to Kelsey. Court Intervention was not requested. (Since the referral was not confirmed until June 7, 2005, the visitation orders of March 11 remained in effect until placement was changed on May 3, 2005. 8

OCCY - On Friday June 10, 2005 the investigation of referral 979294 (reported April 25, 2005) was, completed with the findings: “Confirmed – Court Intervention Requested”. In the report to the District Attorney, the child welfare worker documented that the allegations were being confirmed against an unknown perpetrator. While it was unknown who may have caused the broken bones, they were ruled to be the result of abuse and for that reason Kelsey was removed from the home of the paternal grandmother and placed in DHS custody. Kelsey’s father was allegedly deployed to Kuwait; however the worker could not confirm his location.  The supervisor had faxed a written request to the United States military but received no response on how to contact the father or the date of his deployment.  According to DHS, the paternal family was not cooperative in providing information on how to locate the father. The worker also documented concerns that the paternal grandmother was allowing visitation with the mother that was in violation of the court order, both in duration of the visits and Mr. Porter was living in the home with the mother.  The worker recommended that Kelsey remains in DHS custody and be placed outside the paternal grandmother’s home and in the mother’s home.

JK- June 15 – 16, 2005 – The trial was conducted as to the guardianship filed by the Briggs and the amended deprived petition filed by the DA’s office. The testimony and evidence presented at this 12-hour hearing will be gone through in detail later. Ultimately, I returned Kelsey to her mother at the conclusion of the hearing.

FKM- 6-15 & 16- 2005 – During the custody hearing, the CASA worker, Carla Lynch, recommended Kelsey be placed back with her mother. When the treatment worker was asked about placing Kelsey back with Kathie Briggs she stated that it wasn’t through her recommendation, no. She also stated there were no additional requirements asked of Raye Dawn before custody was returned to her.

FKM- 6-16-2005 – Kelsey returned home with Raye Dawn and told Raye Dawn, “I’m proud of you.” Raye Dawn called DHS that day and told them that Kelsey was doing fine.

OCCY - On Wednesday and Thursday June 15 and 16, 2005 District Court of Lincoln County considered the matter of Kelsey S. Smith-Briggs, deprived child as defined by the laws of the State of Oklahoma, case no JD-05-10, and in the matter of the guardianship of Kelsey S. Smith-Briggs, minor child case no. PG-05-03. During the proceedings, CASA worker Carla Lynch recommended that the child be placed back with her mother.  Yolonda Hunter, child welfare treatment worker, recommended that the child remain in her present placement with the maternal grandmother, Gayla Smith, with continued visitation as previously ordered and “phase-in” placement with the mother following services provided by CHBS. When asked if the child may be returned to Kathie Briggs’ home, the treatment worker responded “Not through our recommendation, NO” . The Court directed a question to the treatment worker: “If there was an adjudication, are there any additional requirements that you would have of Ms. Porter, Raye Dawn Smith Porter? She replied, “ No your Honor, there’s not”.

 

After considering testimony and viewing the depositions of two physicians, Judge Key dissolved the guardianship of the paternal grandparents, and adjudicated Kelsey deprived with an unknown perpetrator.  The minor child was placed back in the home of the biological mother. Visitation privileges were to be determined by the DHS. The Court ordered the placement of CHBS in the home. A dispositional hearing was set for July 14, 2005.

On Wednesday June 15, 2005 a CHBS worker, Andrea Sills, contacted the Pottawatomie County Child Welfare worker Debbie Walker.  CHBS documented that the child welfare worker was leaving her position and the DHS would reassign the following week. According to the CHBS worker, she was advised to call the child welfare supervisor to determine who the new worker would be and schedule an intake.

Child Welfare worker, Yolanda Hunter, documented receiving a call from Raye Dawn Porter on Thursday June 16, 2005 reporting that Kelsey was doing well.  Also on this date Yolanda Hunter, completed the house assessment with Raye Dawn and Mike Porter.  Yolanda Hunter informed the mother and step-father of the CHBS referral, and that the secondary worker from Pottawatomie County would visit the home once per month. The worker did not document any concerns or safety risks.

JK- June 20, 2005 – Raye Dawn contacts DHS to let them know Kelsey is doing fine. Raye Dawn takes Kelsey to the zoo, swimming, and has a cookout with her family during this time.

OCCY - On Monday June 20, 2005 five days after Kelsey had been placed in the home of Raye Dawn Porter, Yolanda Hunter sent an email to David Burges and copied Misty Smith Pollard, Debbie Walker, Debra Winn, and Carmen Hutchens which stated:

FYI- the child, Kelsey has been back with her parents, Raye Dawn and Mike Porter in Shawnee, O.K. per Judge Key as you know. This is a high profile case and CHBS has been initiated paperwork wise, nothing else. A walkthrough was completed by the primary worker.  Thought Secondary county would need to step up the urgency on getting on board and saw where it was assigned to the Foster Care unit. Also there was no secondary contact made other than the investigative part. Thank you for looking at this urgently.

JK- June 27, 2005 – Raye Dawn calls DHS to let them know Kelsey is doing fine. Kelsey asks and is allowed to talk to the worker. Kelsey’s hair continues to grow back and she is eating well, but is suffering from possible separation anxiety when she lays down for her nap. According to DHS, Kelsey fears Raye Dawn will not be there when she wakes up.

OCCY - On Wednesday June 29, 2005 Andrea Sills, CHBS case manager(CCM), documented leaving a message for both Darrell Ryan, Pottawatomie County, and Yolanda Hunter, Lincoln County.  The worker wrote:

CCM has made 3 attempts in the past two days to reach Yolanda Hunter and one attempt to contact Darrell. CCM has received the CHBS referral and is seeking additional information and awaiting the intake to be scheduled.

In an email dated June 29, 2005 Andrea Sills wrote to Darrell Ryan:

I have tried to contact you to set up the intake for the Kelsey[Kelsey] Smith-Briggs case, 20331786. The primary is out of Lincoln County. I was told that you were the worker but may have been given the wrong information. Please let me know. Thanks so much. Andrea Sills.

JK- June 30, 2005 – DHS contacts Ashley Briggs to set up visit. Ashley advises DHS that Kathie told her visitation was not allowed with their side of the family. DHS advises Ashley that this is incorrect and sets up visitation for July 6, 2005.

OCCY - On Friday July 1, 2005, Yolanda Hunter documented in a case contact that she had informed Raye Dawn porter, the CHBS intake would occur the following day. The CHBS intake did not take place on July 2, 2005.  Also, July1, Debra Winn, Lincoln County DHS Director, emailed Carmen Hutchins, Pottawotomie County DHS director, stating Kelsey had been placed in the home with her mother through an order from Judge Key while remaining in DHS custody. The email states:” Kelsey is now in the home and we will need the worker to make the required visits”.

JK- July 2, 2005 – DHS makes regular visit to Raye Dawn Smith’s home, everything is going fine.

JK- July 7, 2005 – First visit from CHBS worker, who is with DHS worker. They observe Raye Dawn being very attentive to both Kelsey and Kelsey’s step-sister. All interaction between the family members was “very normal and appropriate.” 

OCCY - KIDS documentation indicated the first CHBS home visit occurred on Thursday July 7, 2005. This was the first documented visit since June 16, 2005.

JK- July 8, 2005 – CASA worker visits Kelsey and Raye Dawn at their home.

JK- July 12, 2005 – CASA report filed recommending:

·      That Kelsey stay with her mother

·      That the biological father and stepmother have one hour of supervised visitation every 30 days, or as determined by DHS

·      That Kelsey can spend the night with the maternal grandmother

·      That the mother had completed her program

JK- July 12, 2005 - I ruled that Kelsey was to remain with Raye Dawn Smith and have overnight visits with her father when he returns to the state.

JK- July 12, 2005 – CHBS visits Raye Dawn and Kelsey at their home.

OCCY - The CASA worker submitted a report to the court on Tuesday July 12, 2005. The report to the court recommended that Kelsey stay with her mother, allow one hour of supervised visitation every 30 days or as determined by DHS) with the biological father and step-mother, and allow Kelsey overnight visitation with the maternal grandmother. The recommendation also included the statement: “if this arrangement does not work out, Kelsey is to be placed with the maternal grandmother with monthly supervised visits with the paternal grandparents after naptime”. The CASA reported that the mother had completed her program.

 

JK- July 13, 2005 – Ashley Briggs contacts DHS to set up another appointment for visitation with Kelsey. Ashley advises that Kathie gave her the OU physician’s medical bill. The bill came to Kathie Briggs’ home with Raye Dawn Porter’s name on it and wants to get the bill to Raye Dawn. Worker advises Ashley that the Briggs’ insurance needs to pay for the bill because the injury occurred before Kelsey was placed in DHS custody.

JK- July 14, 2005 – Raye Dawn and Kelsey met CHBS at Lincoln County Courthouse.

OCCY - The investigation of referral 97997 [page 8 of this report] was closed on Thursday July 14, 2005 with the findings: “Services Recommended”. In recommendations to the District Attorney, the child welfare worker documented seeing a faint bruise on the child’s nose. According to the worker, it was not possible to determine the cause of the bruise and the reason for injury by the mother was plausible. During the course of this investigation, another investigation had been completed with physical injuries confirmed and the child had already been placed in DHS custody. Therefore, services were offered to the mother and the worker recommended that the mother continue to work her court ordered treatment plan.

JK- July 18, 2005 – Raye Dawn met CASA at Lincoln County Courthouse.

JK- July 19, 2005 – CHBS visits home of Raye Dawn, Kelsey, and family.

JK- July 20, 2005 – Ashley Briggs contacts DHS worker to have her call Raye Dawn to advise that Lance has been trying to call to speak with Kelsey. DHS worker advises Ashley to have Lance mail letters, cards, or other correspondence to Kelsey. DHS worker encourages Ashley to send pictures, etc to Kelsey. Ashley demands DHS worker advise her about the CHBS program. DHS worker explains that the program is going extremely well and the DHS worker has regular contact with the CHBS worker. Once again, Ashley asks worker about the doctor bill received at Kathie Briggs’ home in Raye Dawn’s name. Worker advises Ashley that the services provided were before Kelsey went into DHS custody and will have to be paid by Kathie Briggs.

JK- July 20, 2005 – DHS worker contacts Raye Dawn regarding phone calls for Kelsey by her dad, Lance. Raye Dawn advises worker that she has never received a message or phone call from Lance. Raye Dawn agrees that if Lance writes to Kelsey, she will read any cards, letters, etc to her. Raye Dawn advises the DHS worker that Kelsey has gained weight to 24 pounds.

JK- July 25, 2005 – Raye Dawn contacts DHS worker to check in.

OCCY - On Monday July 25, 2005, Raye Dawn Porter contacted Yolanda Hunter by phone and stated that she was just “checking in’. Raye Dawn Porter reported that she had taken Kelsey to Branson, Missouri for the weekend. According to the case contacts, the worker informed Raye Dawn she cannot take Kelsey across state lines.

JK- July 26, 2005 – CHBS visits Kelsey, Raye Dawn, and family at their home.

JK- August 1, 2005 – Raye Dawn contacts DHS.

JK- August 2, 2005 – CHBS visits Kelsey, Raye Dawn, and family at their home.

JK- August 2, 2005 – Kelsey reportedly is having night terrors and self-mutilating. (This was never reported to me by DHS.)

OCCY - On Tuesday August 2, 2005, the CHBS case manager completed a critical incident report. The report stated that Kelsey’s parents informed her Kelsey had begun to injure herself and was experiencing night terrors.

JK- August 4, 2005 – Kelsey’s nose is red and bleeding from sinus problems when DHS visits home. (This was never reported to me by DHS.) DHS asks Raye Dawn to make doctor appointment for Kelsey because of her issues of hurting herself. DHS notes the house is neat and clean and the family appears to be very bonded.

OCCY - On Thursday, August 4, 2005, Darrell Ryan went to the home or Raye Dawn  and Mike Porter to see Kelsey. Kelsey’s nose was red and bleeding. Darrell Ryan documented that the bleeding appeared to result from sinus trouble.

JK- August 5, 2005 – Home visit by DHS. DHS finds Raye Dawn to be very concerned with Kelsey injuring herself. Raye Dawn brings up the possibility of counseling.

JK- August 11, 2005 –CHBS visits Kelsey, Raye Dawn, and family at their home. Kelsey reportedly has had a good week with no more night terrors or self-mutilating. CHBS worker asks Raye Dawn for permission to visit with Oklahoma Commission on Children and Youth (OCCY.) Raye Dawn agrees and states that she appreciates that they are interested in the well-being of Kelsey. CHBS worker explains that Par Post Adjudication Review Board will be held on November 1, 2005, where OCCY, CHBS, CASA, and PARB will have a round-table discussion about Kelsey.

OCCY - On Thursday August 11, 2005 Raye Dawn Porter Contacted Yolanda Hunter.  She reported that Kelsey had a good week with no night terrors or self mutilating. Also, on this date David Burgess sent an email to Debra Winn and copied to Yolanda Hunter about Kelsey’s self-mutilating behaviors.  The email stated:

Ms. Winn-Yolanda Hunter informed me the following: She received a call from the bio-mother Raye Porter at her (Yolanda) house, that Kelsey was exhibiting night terrors and self mutilation. The next day Yolanda spoke with the CHBS worker, Jean Bonner while she (Jean) was at the Porter home. Jean Bonner spoke with Kelsey regarding why she was biting herself. Kelsey stated because she got mad.  With no further information. Raye stated to Jean that Kelsey was put in timeout and while there she bit herself.

From the second autopsy: On August 15, 2005, the University of Washington Seattle Medical Center collagen diagnostic laboratory wrote a report to Dr. Palmer concerning the collagen screening tests that were done on the skin biopsy. The results of the testing in that collagen study are apparently "equivocal" and do not confirm or necessarily exclude the diagnosis of osteogenesis imperfecta. The testing that was performed is a research laboratory test that is not approved by the FDA for clinical diagnostic studies.

 

JK- August 16, 2005 – CHBS visits Kelsey, Raye Dawn, and family at their home.

JK- August 16, 2005 - CHBS goes with Raye Dawn for Kelsey’s appointment with Dr. Koons regarding her self-inflicted injuries.

OCCY - On Tuesday August 16, 2005 the CHBS case manager documented the case progress notes the following:

CCM accompanied the family to the doctor visit and expressed concerns for the child’s mental and emotional health and it’s effect on her physical well being. CCM asked Dr. Koons, and informed her that CWS was also requesting that Dr. Koons make a referral to the  Child Study Center at OU Health Sciences Center/Children’s Hospital. The doctor checked at the family’s request the child's nostril where there is swelling, and addressed the child's self injuring, weight loss, appetite loss,  vomiting when otherwise not ill, the child’s hair re-growth, nightmares, terrors, anxiety at being apart from mom, and easily bruising.

 

JK- August 17, 2005 – CASA report filed with the court recommends:

·      Continued placement in the mother and step-father’s home

·      One hour unsupervised visitation every other Saturday at father and step-mother’s home

·      Kelsey can spend time at maternal grandmother’s home including spending the night

OCCY - The CASA worker submitted a report to the Court on Wednesday August 17, 2005. The report to the court recommended continued placement in the mother and step-father’s home and Kelsey can spend time at the maternal grandmother’s home including overnight visits.

JK- August 18, 2005 – I conduct a further dispositional hearing and grant Ashley additional visitation on alternating weekends beginning August 20, 2005 from 9am to 2pm. These visits are to be unsupervised. If Lance returns home, he shall receive standard visitation every other weekend upon his return. If Kelsey needs any medical attention while in the care of Ashley and/or Lance, they shall immediately notify Raye Dawn.

OCCY - On Thursday August 18, 2005, the District Court of Lincoln County reviewed the deprived case of Kelsey Smith-Briggs. The Court ordered:

·         The step-mother to have visitation on alternating weekends beginning August 20, 2005 for five hours from 9 am to 2 pm , no supervision required.

·         The father shall have visits when he returns

·         If child needs medical attention the custodial parent shall be notified immediately.

Documentation does not indicate that the mental and emotional health concerns, including self mutilating behaviors, weight loss, appetite loss, vomiting, nightmares/terrors, anxiety and easily bruising, were reported to the court on this date by any parties authorized by the court to report.

 

JK- August 19, 2005 – CHBS visits Kelsey, Raye Dawn, and family at their home.

JK- August 19, 2005 - Kelsey is injured in auto accident in the family vehicle with Raye Dawn Smith and Michael Porter when hit by a drunk driver. Kelsey suffers bruising to her face and unknown internal injuries. Raye Dawn and Porter take Kelsey to the emergency room and leave several hours later, before seeing a physician.

OCCY - On Friday August 19, 2005 at 10:23 pm, Kelsey was involved a car accident with Raye Dawn and Mike Porter. Medical records indicated that Mike Porter, Raye Dawn Porter and Kelsey arrived the Unity Health Care Center emergency room on August 20, 2005 at 12:36 am. The chief complaint was documented as elbow pain and trunk pain. An emergency room nurse documented a reddened area to the left eye. The RN wrote: Records indicate the family left before 2:45 am, and did not remain for an examination by a physician. “

OCCY - On Saturday August 20, 2005, the CHBS case manager completed a critical injury report. The report stated:

CCMS received a call on 8/20 at 8:27 am from mother who reported the family was in a serious accident about 10 pm the night before. She stated that their new pick-up truck was totaled and that Kelsey had bruises from the car seat. Mother stated that Kelsey had bruises on her face and abdomen. The family had contacted Yolanda Hunter, CWS who advised them to take the child to the ER. Mom stated that the ER triage nurse had told them that Kelsey had no apparent internal injured and that if she did have she would not be able to be so rambunctious. Also on 8/19, around 6 pm CCM had stopped by the home to see the child. Kelsey had a bruise on her left cheek that the family stated was from the child pulling a ceramic lamp down on herself.

 

OCCY - On Monday August 22, 2005, Brenda Matthews, Area IV Oklahoma Children’s Services (OCS)liason,  emailed David Burgess, Wilma Hamilton, and Debra Winn and copied Kent Kelly and Andrea Sills.  The email stated; “Attached you will find the case audit/review on the Kelsey S. B. case. I believe CWS and OCS staff are doing everything possible to assist this family and services are provided and being accepted”.

JK- August 23, 2005 – Kelsey starts refusing food.

FKM- 8-23-2005- Raye Dawn took Kelsey to the doctor and the doctor noted the injuries from the accident.

OCCY - On Tuesday August 23, 2005 the CHBS case manager completed a critical incident report after learning from Yolanda Hunter that Kelsey had been refusing food.

Kelsey was seen by Dr. Koons on Tuesday August 23, 2005As part of the physical exam the following was noted:

SKIN: She has a bruise on her left hip and on her left mandible that is ½ of an inch by ½ of an inch wide. She has bruising on her left cheek, one measuring 1-1/2 inch x  1 inch and a large one measuring 1-1/2 inch by 2 inches.                                                 

GENERAL: Not as playful as she has been on previous days and the family reports that she has been this way every since she was told that she had to go visit her step-mother for visitation. ASSESSMENT/PLAN: I feel like most of her bruises are consistent with the MVA[motor vehicle accident] that is described. I do feel that they are potentially somewhat excessive for the MVA that occurred. I still remain concerned of whether or not something is going on causing her to have more problems.

On August 23, 2005 David Burgess responded to an email from Debra Winn regarding the police report on the accident. David Wrote:

            Yolanda is getting it on Wednesday. They were not drinking, but was hit by a drunk drive which totaled their vehicle. The went to the emergency room that night. They waited five hours and was told that they wouldn’t be seen until the next day.  The accident occurred around 9 pm. Kelsey had an appointment today at 1:30 pm to address other concerns that have been noted (night terrors possible seizures) The child appears to be having anxiety anticipating the court ordered visits with Ashley, according ot the mother.  They have tried to prepare her for the visits.

OCCY - On Wednesday August 24, 2005 Wilma Hamilton, child welfare field liaison sent an email to Dane Smart, child welfare supervisor, stating: “The case came to my attention due to no contact documented in 3 months. It appears you have reassigned this case so I am assuming that you are on it, right? On the same date, Dane Smart responded responded by saying that the case had been Reassigned to Darrell Ryan on August 1, 2005. Dane Smart also reported that Darrell Ryan had been in contact with the family, and the needed documentation would be entered.

In an email dated August 24, 2005 Dane Smart responded to the above concerns to Carmen Hutchins, The email stated:

This was one of those reassigned cases that Darrell inherited without full knowledge of the surrounding circumstances. To my knowledge Londa had never informed Darrell or myself that he needed to visit the home 2 times per week and that seems rather extreme considering that the step mother is not the primary caregiver. Darrell mentioned to me that he went to the home did a walk through after the family moved in and felt the home was appropriate, but Londa felt as though it needed to be done again once they unpacked everything and did another walk through. Darrell mentioned that there may be a personality conflict between the Londa and the step-mother. It appears as though the step-mother has been subjected to several demands that other parties have not been subjected to in a equal manner according to the step mother in her conversation with Darrell.

JK- August 25, 2005 - CHBS visits Kelsey, Raye Dawn, and family at their home.

JK- August 25, 2005 – Raye Dawn takes Kelsey to the doctor, who documents Kelsey’s bruises from auto accident.

JK- August 26, 2005 – Kelsey has seizure while in the care of Raye Dawn.

OCCY - On Friday August 26, 2005 Dr. Koons authored a letter to Yolanda Hunter which stated the following:

Kelsey Smith Briggs was seen in my office on 08/23/05. At this appointment there was concern of tonic seizure activity. I am currently in the process of evaluating this further. She had a CT scan  of her head on 08/25/05, which was normal. My office is trying to schedule an EEG at Children’s Hospital for additional evaluation.

During the evaluation process it would be beneficial that she remain in one home so the seizure activity can be observed and documented.

OCCY - Ashley Briggs had five hours of visitation with Kelsey on Saturday August 27, 2005. After seeing Kelsey during this visit, a member of the paternal family emailed Debra Winn, county director, on September 22, 2005, with the following concerns:

After I saw Kelsey on the 27th of August for the five hour visit, I was deeply concerned. Her weight loss appeared to be extreme. Her demeanor was not the same old energetic happy, Kelsey. She appeared to be afraid to look anyone in the eye and looked down much of the time. I honestly do not feel that she was afraid of us or uncomfortable because she had not seen any of us in a couple of months. The retinal hemorrhages in her eyes and the bruises on her face are very disturbing.  I know that Kelsey had been in an auto accident the week before.  I also know that Kelsey is anemic and possibly having some kind of seizures… I understand that it is believed that Kelsey’s retinal hemorrhages are due to allergies. However, … Kelsey[was] tested by Dr. Patricia Overhustler, an allergy specialist, at the Oklahoma Allergy and Asthma Clinic and her tests do not show severe allergies. The number one cause of retinal hemorrhages in children is shaken baby syndrome and child abuse. I am absolutely not accusing anyone of this, but please look into this.

JK- August 26, 2005 - CHBS visits Kelsey, Raye Dawn, and family at their home.

JK- August 29, 2005 – Ashley visits with Kelsey at her and Lance’s home. Ashley takes pictures of Kelsey in the swing with Kelsey’s bruises from auto accident.

JK- August 29, 2005 – DHS receives a report of allegations of abuse. It states that Kelsey has bruises on her face, a mark on her nose, she appears to have lost weight, and she’s acting timid. This report is “screened out” due to the fact that Kelsey’s doctor documented the injuries from the auto accident on August 25th.

OCCY - On Monday August 29, 2005, the DHS initiated referral 1000942. Allegedly, Kelsey had bruises on her face and a mark on her nose. In addition she looked like she had lost weight. Reportedly, Kelsey was acting timid.  The referral was originally assigned, then overridden by Dane Smart, child welfare supervisor, and screened out. Child welfare documented that the injuries were from a car wreck and had been documented by child welfare and CHBS. The child’s pediatrician examined the child on August 25, 2005 and documented the injuries.

Bruising and injuries have now been reported in the last ten days in the following manner:

·         The CHBS case manager reported on Friday August 19, 2005 at 6 pm that Kelsey had a bruise on he cheek that the family stated occurred when the child pulled a ceramic lamp down and fell on her face.

·         A triage nurse reported on August 20, 2005 art 12:56 am , that Kelsey presented with bruising on her forehead and bridge of her nose and a reddened area to the left eye.

·         Dr. Koons reported on Tuesday August 23, 2005that Kelsey presented with a bruise to her left hip, a bruise to her mandible, and a bruise to her left cheek.

·         On Saturday August 27, a family member noted retinal hemorrhages in Kelsey’s eyes

On Monday August 29, 2005 Ashley Briggs wrote an email to Yolanda Hunter,

Here are some pictures of Kelsey from my Saturday visit. I just wanted you to have them to put in Kelsey’s file.  I am guessing that the bruising on her face is from the car wreck and the busted blood vessels in her eyes?? Our visit went great, I really enjoyed getting to spend time with her, and she got to talk to Lance, he was very excited.

On Tuesday August 30, 2005, another email was sent from the Briggs family to Wesley Priest, child welfare worker stating: “These are the bruises on the left side of her face.  We do not have pictures of the bloody eye or the faint bruises on the right jaw line and behind the ear, but we have it on video.”

Child welfare initiated a referral for Kelsey on Tuesday, August 30, 2005, ot the Child Study Center in Oklahoma city for play therapy counseling. Raye Dawn Porter brought Kelsey to the Lincoln County office on August 30, 2005 to complete the application from the Child Study Center. Raye Dawn Porter allowed the staff to take pictures of Kelsey. Raye Dawn Porter informed the staff of her pregnancy.

From the second autopsy: (This is in addition to Dr. Kelli Koons's notes)...She had been previously apparently scheduled for a CT scan at Unity Hospital to be done five days later on August 28...An outcome of that evaluation is that she was referred to "hemophilia clinic." The actual CT scan result, based on the test requested on that visit, is dated August 25, 2005. The CT was negative for brain injury. A follow-up visit with Dr. Koons occurred on August 31.

 

JK- August 30, 2005 – Raye Dawn takes Kelsey to DHS, who refers Kelsey to the Child Study Center in Oklahoma City for play therapy counseling.

JK- August 30, 2005 – The Court receives a letter from Kelsey’s doctor recommending that Kelsey remain in one home so that her “tonic seizure activity” can be evaluated.

JK- August 31, 2005 – Raye Dawn takes Kelsey to Dr. Koons for her Hepatitis A shot. Raye Dawn calls DHS to report Kelsey’s progress and the fact that she’s eating well.

OCCY - Raye Dawn Porter reported to Yolonda Hunter on Wednesday August 31, 2005, that Kelsey had been examined by Dr. Koons.  Yolanda Hunter documented “Dr Koons checked over Kelsey again and said her eye is getting better regarding the red spots, her nose is getting better, continue with the nose spray.”

JK- September 1, 2005 – Raye Dawn takes Kelsey to Dr. Koons. CHBS visits Kelsey, Raye Dawn, and family at their home.

JK- September 2, 2005 – An application for an emergency order is filed by the District Attorney requesting that unsupervised visits with Ashley be discontinued so Kelsey’s seizure activity can be monitored. A hearing is set for September 8, 2005 to determine if visitation will be stopped. The application has a letter from the child’s doctor attached. CHBS visits Kelsey, Raye Dawn, and family at their home.

JK- September 2, 2005 – Ashley calls DHS concerning her visitation being suspended. The DHS worker informs her that there would be a hearing on September 8, 2005 to determine visitation.

OCCY - On Friday September 2, 2005 an application for emergency order was filed by the Lincoln County District Attorney.  The application requested that unsupervised visits with the stepmother be discontinued due to a letter from the child’s physician. The physician reported that Kelsey was being monitored for seizure activity, and the tests would benefit from placement in one home.

FKM- 9-2-2005 - Kelsey’s eye was raw after getting shampoo in it. Raye Dawn had been told if she washed Kelsey’s hair with adult shampoo that it would make it grow back faster. Raye Dawn used Garnier Fructise on Kelsey’s hair.

JK- September 4, 2005 – The Porter family goes to Frontier City in Oklahoma City where Kelsey rides many different rides. The question has been raised of the possibility that the impact of the rides could have caused the blunt force trauma to the abdomen and re-injured the internal injuries from the auto accident.

JK- September 6, 2005 – Kelsey has a self-inflicted eye injury after rubbing adult shampoo out of her eye. CHBS and DHS visit Kelsey, Raye Dawn, and family at their home at two separate times during the day.

OCCY - On Tuesday, September 6, 2005 the CHBS case manager completed a critical incident report. The report stated:

CMM learned on 9/06 that Kelsey had injured her eye on 9/02 per her mother. Raye stated that when she had washed Kelsey’s hair on Friday night with “adult” shampoo rather then baby shampoo because someone had told her that “adult” shampoo would make Kelsey’s hair grow back faster        .  When some of the shampoo caused Kelsey’s eye to sting, Raye gave her a towel to rub her eyes with.  She stated that she did not realize until the next morning that Kelsey had rubbed so hard that she had rubbed her skin raw. She stated that both of Kelsey’s eyes were swollen on Saturday morning, but the skin around the right eye seemed fine on 9/06. However the skin around the left eye, both under the eye and on the eye lid was red an raw. From a distance through the screen door, CCM thought the child had a black eye, but upon closer inspection, it appears to be a reddish scabbing. Kelsey also had  about 6 small faint bruises on her right leg and 2 on her left.

Also on September 6, 2005the CHBS case manager documented in Kelsey’s case progress notes the following:

Kelsey had a large crescent shape injury underneath her left eye where the skin had been scraped raw and had scabbed over. There were similar scabbed areas on the eye-lid, around the crease in the lid. From a distance and through the screen door it appeared Kelsey had a “black-eye” but on closer inspection the injury appears to be a dark reddish color of scabbing from what appears to be a scraping type of injury, consistent with the mothers story…Mother did not call CCM or CW to report the injury, mother allowed the child to wear the same thick soled flip-flop shoes that the child had fallen off of causing a leg injury a few months ago. Kelsey had the shoes on when the CCM arrived.  On the day of the CHBS intake CCM heard CWS ask mom to put those shoes up or throw them out to keep Kelsey form wearing them again and risking a new injury. While the children were playing in the front yard, CCM went inside to check CCM’s schedule for Thursday and while CCM was inside Raye also came into the house to get Bubby a drink of water, leaving Kelsey outside. Kelsey ran out into the street while she was unsupervised and was in the middle of the street when Raye and CCM  went back out. Raye yelled “Whitney” as if Whitney should have been responsible to watch Kelsey when Raye went inside.

On Tuesday, September 6, 2005 Yolanda Hunter received a call from CHBS regarding Kelsey’s eye. Yolanda Hunter went to the home and interviewed Kelsey.

On September 6, 2005 after receiving an email from the paternal family again mentioning Kelsey’s facial bruises and alleging child welfare’s lack of a response, Margaret Noble emailed Debra Winn and Wilma Hamilton asking “ Does Kelsey have facial bruising and has it been investigated?” Wilma Hamilton forwarded the message to Carmen Hutchinson.  Carmen responded “ The child and family were in a car wreck.  The injuries were sustained in the car wreck. The child was seen by a doctor after the wreck.  It is all documented in KIDS.“

 

JK- September 7, 2005 – CASA visits Kelsey, Raye Dawn, and family at their home.

OCCY - On Wednesday September 7, 2005 Yolanda Hunter emailed Darrell Ryan about the incident with Kelsey’s eye. (The email was copied to Dane Smart and David Burgess) The correspondence stated:

Okay, here is another one that Kelsey has had her hair washed and her mother gave her a towel to rub her eyes with , but that was not what I am upset about. Mother washed her hair with adult shampoo because some person told her that the child’s hair would grow faster.  What was she thinking? Then apparently, she gave her a towel to wipe her eyes out and she wiped her eye raw!!! I spoke with CHBS that we need to go over with the parents the treatment plan and what is appropriate parenting. Also, I was approved to go last night to go observe Kelsey at her home.  I walked up on her and Whitney outside riding the John Deere little ride, battery operated ride in the front yard and asked Kelsey what had happened to her eye. NO parents were outside but had the door open, with the screen door open. Kelsey told me after I asked her directly what happened to her eye. She said “soap go in my eyes!” The parents came out and I visited them about not washing her hair with adult shampoo, and they agreed to go back to the baby shampoo, not washing with the other children in the bathtub, and Mrs. Porter understood and did not get upset. Mr. porter got upset with me and stated that this was not something planned. I explained once again that this was a high profile case and she is in DHS custody and need to be extra aware of situations and cautious. I also offered that Kelsey does not need to be removed again from them and that would cause extra harm to this child and emotionally she could not handle another removal but if they continue to use poor judgment about using adult shampoos, etc, then that is probably going to be occurring ant that they are only fueling the fire for other referrals to be turned in.

Ashley Briggs emailed Margaret Noble, Debra Winn,  and Carla Lynch on Wednesday September 7, 2005 stating that she and Lance Briggs were divorcing.

JK- September 8, 2005 – I hear the case to terminate visitation rights. Nobody from the paternal family shows at the hearing. Not even their attorney. The DA’s office and Kelsey’s attorney make a motion to dismiss Kelsey’s case because things are going so well. This would have been three months after I had given her back. The motion is withdrawn after I take them in chambers and they read the Ryan Luke’s law that says a deprived child case cannot be dismissed until six months after a child is returned to his or her parents. I rule as follows:

·      No unsupervised visits with any of the Briggs family members, except for with Lance

·      CASA to be able to talk to CHBS

OCCY - On Thursday September 8, 2005 the District Court of Lincoln County reviewed the deprived case of Kelsey Smith-Briggs.  The Assistant District Attorney made a recommendation to return custody from the DHS to the mother, and allow her to control visitation. The DHS child welfare supervisor made recommendation to allow DHS to retain custody and continue working towards reunification. Guardian ad litem (for Kelsey) Brandon Watkins made recommendation to return custody back to the mother.  Following a court ordered recess, the Assistant District Attorney withdrew the motion to return custody to the mother.

The Court ordered: 1) termination of unsupervised visits except for the father(in order to monitor for seizures; see September 2, 2005, entry) 2.) to allow CASA worker to communicate with CHBS worker and 3) to set a review for January 12, 2006. The child remained in DHS custody.

 

JK- September 13, 2005 – CHBS goes with Raye Dawn to Children’s Hospital in Oklahoma City for a doctor’s appointment.

From the second autopsy: On September 13, 2005, Kelsey was seen at the Jimmy Everest Center for cancer and blood disorders in children. The examining physician was Dr. Sexcna. A number of clinical laboratory tests were done, and a  follow-up visit was scheduled.

JK- September 20, 2005 – Raye Dawn takes Kelsey to Dr. Koons.

 

From the second autopsy: On September 20, 2005, Kelsey was seen again at Shawnee Medical Center for "vomiting and high fever." The assessment was "strep pharyngitis."

JK- September 22, 2005 - CHBS visits Kelsey, Raye Dawn, and family at their home.

JK- September 23, 2005 – Lance calls DHS with questions about Kelsey. He had been injured while driving a truck in Iraq and was in the United States. He wants Kelsey delivered to the airport to see him when he returns to Oklahoma.

OCCY - David Burges documented in contact notes on Friday, September 23, 2005 of a telephone contact with the father. The father asked numerous questions and expressed concerns regarding the health and safety of his daughter.

JK- September 27, 2005 - CHBS goes with Raye Dawn to Children’s Hospital in Oklahoma City for a doctor’s appointment.

From the second autopsy: A follow-up examination by the bleeding disorder clinic at the Jimmy Everest Center was conducted on September 27, 2005 where Dr. William Meyer recommended that he did not see any specific reason for a significant bleeding tendency.

JK- September 30, 2005 - DHS visits Kelsey, Raye Dawn, and family at their home.

JK- October 4, 2005 - CHBS visits Kelsey, Raye Dawn, and family at their home.

JK- October 6, 2005 - CHBS visits Kelsey, Raye Dawn, and family at their home. Raye Dawn reports to DHS that Kelsey was heard saying “Never see mommy again. Never see grandma again.” When asked where she heard those words, Kelsey responded “That girl.”

JK- October 6, 2005 – Lance calls DHS and informs them that he lied about his whereabouts and that he had been in Fort Benning, Georgia since September 21, 2005 and not in Iraq.

JK- October 7, 2005 – Yolanda, a DHS worker, visits Kelsey’s home and finds she is improving. Kelsey runs and hugs Yolanda.

OCCY - Yolanda Hunter visited the home of Raye Dawn and Mike Porter on Friday October 7, 2005. Raye Dawn Porter reported that Kelsey was improving

FKM - Sometime in the last two weeks of Kelsey's life she suffered abuse at the hands of Mike Porter. This is a statement from Mike's daughter's counselor that was taken six days after Kelsey's death. From the descriptions, it had to have been within the last two weeks after the Porters moved into their new home.

8:47am 10-17-2005 - ...MP's daughter had a little drink left so we went to my office so she could finish. I offered her a cookie which she took. MP's daughter said something about they thought her dad was the one who hurt Kelsey. This was the second time she had brought this up. I asked her if her dad had ever hurt her. She said no. I asked her if he had ever hurt her brother. She said no. I asked her if she had ever seen her dad hurt Kelsey. She hesitated then said yes. I asked her if she wanted to tell me about it. She said yes. She told me of the time she heard Kelsey getting a spanking. So she went upstairs and looked in the doorway to find her dad spanking Kelsey "real hard." She said he spanked her so hard it left her bottom "real red." She added, he spanked her until she threw up. MP's daughter also observed that when her dad went downstairs he did not tell anyone that he had spanked Kelsey or that she threw up. I told her it must have been hard to see that. She told me that when people were around her dad, he was nice to Kelsey. But, when no one was looking she said her dad was mean to Kelsey, I asked MP's daughter how she saw these things. She told me that her dad did not know she was watching. She told me Kelsey had lots of bruises when she was with her dad. I told her this must of been really hard to keep such a secret. I also said to her that this must be a lot for a little girl to bear. After a short pause, MP's daughter told me once she heard a loud thump outside. She went to the back door, and saw her dad hitting Kelsey's head on the brick wall. I asked her what she did next. She said she went outside and asked her dad what he was doing. He told his daughter that Kelsey was about to get sick. I told MP's daughter there are many people that thought it was Raye Dawn that was hurting Kelsey. She told me that the baby cried for Raye Dawn. MP's daughter said the baby crawled to Raye Dawn and clung to her leg and cried for her. I felt like MP's daughter was concerned about Raye Dawn. I told her that these days they have DNA testing and they can tell who did what. I asked MP's daughter if she felt better telling someone what happened. She asked me if her dad would find out. I told her she would be protected when that time came. I asked her if she was ready to go back to class. She said yes, and I walked her to class.

JK- October 11, 2005 – CHBS, makes a house visit and finds Kelsey to be fine. There is a turtle by her car and Kelsey and Raye Dawn take the turtle to the porch where Kelsey plays with it.

Later that day, October 11, 2005 – Kelsey is rushed to hospital with blunt force trauma to her stomach. She died.

OCCY - The CHBS manager documented a contact note indicating a house visit on Tuesday October 11, 2005 between the hours of noon and 1:30 pm. The case manager observed the child and noted that Kelsey had a small purple bruise about the size of a nickel and a band aid on one finger. The case manager conducted the baseline session of the “Eco-Behavioral Home Safety and Cleanliness Training/Assessment” in the living room, kitchen, Kelsey’s room and bathroom. The next home visit was scheduled for October 18, at 11 am.

On October 11, 2005 DHS initiated referral 1008815. Reportedly, Kelsey was taken to Prague Hospital because she was not breathing.  Reportedly, the family stated that Kelsey may have suffered a seizure. She was pronounced dead at 4:45 pm.

On October 11, the DHS received a second referral regarding the injuries to the child. The referral was screened out and associated to referral 100815.

On January 11, 2006, the “Report of Investigation by Medical Examiner” was completed regarding the death of Kelsey Shelton Smith-Briggs. The report stated the cause of death: “Blunt force abdominal trauma”

This timeline is from A Deadly Game of Tug of War: The Kelsey Smith Briggs Story by Judge Craig Key

 

It is important to understand the timeline of the events that occurred once the Court, DHS, and other parties got involved in the private lives of Kelsey Smith-Briggs and her family.

Most of the events leading up to Kelsey’s untimely death occurred between January and October of 2005. It seemed that most of Kelsey’s bruising and injuries occurred while in the care of Raye Dawn Smith and Michael Porter, but the Department of Human Services ultimately found that the abuse could have taken place in the Smith-Porter home as well as the Briggs home because Kathie and Royce Briggs had primary custody of Kelsey from February until May. In fact, most of the worst injuries occurred during the time Kelsey was

shuffled between homes.

Following is a sequence of events as they occurred during the months in question:

Some time in late 2004 the Smith family was informed by a person who was closely related to both the Smith and Briggs family, that Raye Dawn Smith and her family had better get ready for a bitter custody battle. (This came from Debbie Hammons, Gayla Smith's former sister-in-law. She told Gayla that Kathie was getting ready to fight to get custody of Kelsey for Lance and Ashley. Shortly afterward, the abuse allegations started.)

January 8, 2005 – Kelsey suffers a broken collarbone and bruises to her face while in care of Raye Dawn Smith.

January 10, 2005 – Raye Dawn takes Kelsey to the emergency room in Shawnee, Oklahoma. The doctors diagnose Kelsey with a broken clavicle (collarbone) and observe scratches to her neck and arm.

January 13, 2005 – Raye Dawn and Kelsey spend the night with Gayla Smith.

January 14, 2005 – Raye Dawn picks up Kelsey from her daycare at 5pm and takes her to Kathie Briggs at 6pm.

January 14, 2005 at 11pm – Lance and Ashley Briggs, Kelsey’s father and step-mother, take Kelsey to the emergency room in Shawnee, Oklahoma where Kelsey has bruises to her buttocks and the side of her face.

January 16, 2005 – Kathie refuses to return Kelsey to Raye Dawn and keeps her overnight.

January 17, 2005 – Raye Dawn goes to the Meeker police to report Kathie’s refusal to return Kelsey. The police make Kathie return Kelsey to Raye Dawn.

January 21, 2005 – Raye Dawn Smith takes Kelsey to doctor to find out why she bruises easily.

January 24, 2005 – Royce and Kathie Briggs apply for emergency guardianship. I sign a custody order granting emergency temporary custody to the Briggs. Kathie Briggs goes to Kelsey’s daycare with the police and takes immediate custody of Kelsey.

February 4, 2005 – I conduct a trial on the guardianship to determine if Kathie and Royce Briggs should remain guardians of Kelsey. Based on the statements of DHS and other facts, which will be discussed in detail later in the book, I leave Kelsey in the temporary custody of the Briggs and grant Raye Dawn supervised visitation.

February 11, 2005 – Case had been continued to this date to allow DHS to complete investigation. DA’s office asks for 30 days to file deprived petition, the hearing is continued to March 11, 2005.

February 23, 2005 – DA files their petition seeking to have Kelsey adjudicated deprived.

March 11, 2005 – Parties meet for the continued hearing and the case is continued to June 6th with the guardianship and deprived cases consolidated to be heard jointly.

March 11, 2005 – After court, DHS meets with Raye Dawn, her attorney, Greg Wilson, and Kelsey’s court appointed attorney where she is advised of the classes she must complete to have Kelsey returned.

March 24, 2005 – Kelsey suffers a bruise on her nose and right knee after a fall while visiting Raye Dawn Smith at her Meeker apartment.

March 24, 2005 - Kathie and Ashley Briggs take Kelsey to the emergency room to have the injuries documented for DHS. The Briggs tell ER personnel they believe Raye Dawn’s story of Kelsey falling, but just want the bruise documented for the custody case.

March 31, 2005 – Kelsey’s hair starts falling out to the point that she has a bald spot the size of a baseball and she starts self-mutilating by biting herself while in the custody of Kathie Briggs.

April 14, 2005 – Kelsey suffers a sprained ankle while at the zoo with Raye Dawn Smith’s sister-in-law, Miste. Raye Dawn and Miste take Kelsey to the emergency room where her ankle is X-rayed and she is diagnosed with a sprained ankle. (Allegedly, Kathie later stated that Miste should be charged with child abuse because Kelsey was in Miste’s care when she fell at the zoo.)

April 15, 2005 – Kelsey suffers bruising to both thighs and bruising to her rib-cage after falling through screen door while at friend’s house in care of Michael Porter.

April 18, 2005 – Raye Dawn Smith marries Michael Porter.

April 19 – 21, 2005 – Kelsey is in the home of Kathie Briggs. Raye Dawn takes Kelsey to DHS to report that Kelsey is not walking. Some time later, when questioned about the injury, Kathie tells DHS that Kelsey took four steps on April 19, 2005, but never walked again while in her care. Kathie never contacted anyone or took Kelsey to a doctor after she quit walking. Why?

April 25, 2005 – Kelsey is in the care of Raye Dawn, who notices the leg Kelsey did not injure is swollen and hot to the touch. She takes Kelsey to the DHS office in Lincoln County and is advised by workers and DHS’s nurse to immediately take Kelsey to the emergency room. Dr. Barrett, an orthopedic specialist in Shawnee, diagnoses Kelsey with two broken legs.

April 26, 2005 – Dr. Barrett places casts on both of Kelsey’s legs.

April 27, 2005 – Kelsey suffers a bruise to her nose and eyebrow from her step-sister elbowing her in bed while in the care of Raye Dawn Smith and Michael Porter.

May 2, 2005 – Kathie takes Kelsey to OU Medical Center in Oklahoma City for a second opinion on Kelsey’s broken legs. Dr. Sullivan, an orthopedic specialist, determines Kelsey’s legs may have been broken by non-accidental trauma.

May 3, 2005 – The District Attorney’s office, at the request of DHS asks that I place Kelsey in protective custody when they determine that both Kathie Briggs and Raye Dawn Smith are suspects to the alleged abuse. Kelsey is placed in the care of Gayla Smith, her maternal grandmother, by DHS.

May 5, 2005 – Raye Dawn’s attorney files an application to terminate the Briggs’ guardianship. I conduct a “show cause” hearing and leave legal custody of Kelsey with DHS. Both Raye Dawn and the Briggs are granted four hours of visitation per week, with visitation to occur at and be supervised by DHS. The next hearing is set for June 6, 2005. 

May 10, 2005 – I appoint a representative of CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) to investigate and represent Kelsey’s interest.

May 11, 2005 – The District Attorney’s office files an amended petition and changes the allegations in their February 23, 2005 petition. The amended petition alleges:

“The Respondent Juvenile has been physically abused as evidenced by her two broken legs. The respondents, mother and paternal grandmother either perpetrated the acts of abuse or failed to protect the respondent juvenile from the abuse.”

May 12, 2005 – CASA worker contacts DHS and begins reviewing all allegations and DHS files plus court files in order to prepare court report for June hearing.

May 31, 2005 – DHS goes over mother’s Individualized Service Plan and addresses risk factors within the mother’s home, as identified by DHS.

June 1, 2005 – DHS recommends Community Home Based Services (CHBS) be placed in mother’s home upon child’s return to provide better supervision and improve parenting skills so that Kelsey will not sustain any other injuries.

June 1, 2005 – CASA report filed with the Court. CASA recommends:

·      Kelsey be returned to her mother’s custody

·      The paternal grandparents can have supervised visitation one hour every other Saturday

·      Kelsey can spend time at the maternal grandmother’s home, including spending the night

·      If this arrangement does not work out, Kelsey was to be placed in the maternal grandmother’s home until the court decides otherwise

·      Kelsey should be enrolled in Head Start and have a speech therapist help her with her language

·      A request for a 90-day review, due to “having this case such a short time”

June 3, 2005 – Lincoln County District Attorney’s office files a motion for continuance to allow DHS additional time to complete their report.

June 6, 2005 – Referral made to DHS by unknown caller alleging neglect of Michael Porter’s children, Kelsey’s step-brother and step-sister. This referral was “screened out” due to the fact the caller could not provide names of anyone who would have seen the abuse.

June 6, 2005 – I continued the court hearing after having all attorneys and DHS in my chambers. I ordered the DHS report to be filed by the close of business on June 10, 2005, and set the hearing on the guardianship and the amended deprived petition for June 14, 2005. I told all attorneys in my chambers the time had come to try this case.

June 15 – 16, 2005 – The trial was conducted as to the guardianship filed by the Briggs and the amended deprived petition filed by the DA’s office. The testimony and evidence presented at this 12-hour hearing will be gone through in detail later. Ultimately, I returned Kelsey to her mother at the conclusion of the hearing.

June 20, 2005 – Raye Dawn contacts DHS to let them know Kelsey is doing fine. Raye Dawn takes Kelsey to the zoo, swimming, and has a cookout with her family during this time.

June 27, 2005 – Raye Dawn calls DHS to let them know Kelsey is doing fine. Kelsey asks and is allowed to talk to the worker. Kelsey’s hair continues to grow back and she is eating well, but is suffering from possible separation anxiety when she lays down for her nap. According to DHS, Kelsey fears Raye Dawn will not be there when she wakes up.

June 30, 2005 – DHS contacts Ashley Briggs to set up visit. Ashley advises DHS that Kathie told her visitation was not allowed with their side of the family. DHS advises Ashley that this is incorrect and sets up visitation for July 6, 2005.

July 2, 2005 – DHS makes regular visit to Raye Dawn Smith’s home, everything is going fine.

July 7, 2005 – First visit from CHBS worker, who is with DHS worker. They observe Raye Dawn being very attentive to both Kelsey and Kelsey’s step-sister. All interaction between the family members was “very normal and appropriate.” 

July 8, 2005 – CASA worker visits Kelsey and Raye Dawn at their home.

July 12, 2005 – CASA report filed recommending:

·      That Kelsey stay with her mother

·      That the biological father and stepmother have one hour of supervised visitation every 30 days, or as determined by DHS

·      That Kelsey can spend the night with the maternal grandmother

·      That the mother had completed her program

July 12, 2005 - I ruled that Kelsey was to remain with Raye Dawn Smith and have overnight visits with her father when he returns to the state.

July 12, 2005 – CHBS visits Raye Dawn and Kelsey at their home.

July 13, 2005 – Ashley Briggs contacts DHS to set up another appointment for visitation with Kelsey. Ashley advises that Kathie gave her the OU physician’s medical bill. The bill came to Kathie Briggs’ home with Raye Dawn Porter’s name on it and wants to get the bill to Raye Dawn. Worker advises Ashley that the Briggs’ insurance needs to pay for the bill because the injury occurred before Kelsey was placed in DHS custody.

July 14, 2005 – Raye Dawn and Kelsey met CHBS at Lincoln County Courthouse.

July 18, 2005 – Raye Dawn met CASA at Lincoln County Courthouse.

July 19, 2005 – CHBS visits home of Raye Dawn, Kelsey, and family.

July 20, 2005 – Ashley Briggs contacts DHS worker to have her call Raye Dawn to advise that Lance has been trying to call to speak with Kelsey. DHS worker advises Ashley to have Lance mail letters, cards, or other correspondence to Kelsey. DHS worker encourages Ashley to send pictures, etc to Kelsey. Ashley demands DHS worker advise her about the CHBS program. DHS worker explains that the program is going extremely well and the DHS worker has regular contact with the CHBS worker. Once again, Ashley asks worker about the doctor bill received at Kathie Briggs’ home in Raye Dawn’s name. Worker advises Ashley that the services provided were before Kelsey went into DHS custody and will have to be paid by Kathie Briggs.

July 20, 2005 – DHS worker contacts Raye Dawn regarding phone calls for Kelsey by her dad, Lance. Raye Dawn advises worker that she has never received a message or phone call from Lance. Raye Dawn agrees that if Lance writes to Kelsey, she will read any cards, letters, etc to her. Raye Dawn advises the DHS worker that Kelsey has gained weight to 24 pounds.

July 25, 2005 – Raye Dawn contacts DHS worker to check in.

July 26, 2005 – CHBS visits Kelsey, Raye Dawn, and family at their home.

August 1, 2005 – Raye Dawn contacts DHS.

 August 2, 2005 – CHBS visits Kelsey, Raye Dawn, and family at their home.

August 2, 2005 – Kelsey reportedly is having night terrors and self-mutilating. (This was never reported to me by DHS.)

August 4, 2005 – Kelsey’s nose is red and bleeding from sinus problems when DHS visits home. (This was never reported to me by DHS.) DHS asks Raye Dawn to make doctor appointment for Kelsey because of her issues of hurting herself. DHS notes the house is neat and clean and the family appears to be very bonded.

August 5, 2005 – Home visit by DHS. DHS finds Raye Dawn to be very concerned with Kelsey injuring herself. Raye Dawn brings up the possibility of counseling.

August 11, 2005 –CHBS visits Kelsey, Raye Dawn, and family at their home. Kelsey reportedly has had a good week with no more night terrors or self-mutilating. CHBS worker asks Raye Dawn for permission to visit with Oklahoma Commission on Children and Youth (OCCY.) Raye Dawn agrees and states that she appreciates that they are interested in the well-being of Kelsey. CHBS worker explains that Par Post Adjudication Review Board will be held on November 1, 2005, where OCCY, CHBS, CASA, and PARB will have a round-table discussion about Kelsey.

August 16, 2005 – CHBS visits Kelsey, Raye Dawn, and family at their home.

August 16, 2005 - CHBS goes with Raye Dawn for Kelsey’s appointment with Dr. Koons regarding her self-inflicted injuries.

August 17, 2005 – CASA report filed with the court recommends:

·      Continued placement in the mother and step-father’s home

·      One hour unsupervised visitation every other Saturday at father and step-mother’s home

·      Kelsey can spend time at maternal grandmother’s home including spending the night

August 18, 2005 – I conduct a further dispositional hearing and grant Ashley additional visitation on alternating weekends beginning August 20, 2005 from 9am to 2pm. These visits are to be unsupervised. If Lance returns home, he shall receive standard visitation every other weekend upon his return. If Kelsey needs any medical attention while in the care of Ashley and/or Lance, they shall immediately notify Raye Dawn.

August 19, 2005 – CHBS visits Kelsey, Raye Dawn, and family at their home.

August 19, 2005 - Kelsey is injured in auto accident in the family vehicle with Raye Dawn Smith and Michael Porter when hit by a drunk driver. Kelsey suffers bruising to her face and unknown internal injuries. Raye Dawn and Porter take Kelsey to the emergency room and leave several hours later, before seeing a physician.

August 23, 2005 – Kelsey starts refusing food.

August 25, 2005 - CHBS visits Kelsey, Raye Dawn, and family at their home.

August 25, 2005 – Raye Dawn takes Kelsey to the doctor, who documents Kelsey’s bruises from auto accident.

August 26, 2005 – Kelsey has seizure while in the care of Raye Dawn.

August 29, 2005 – Ashley visits with Kelsey at her and Lance’s home. Ashley takes pictures of Kelsey in the swing with Kelsey’s bruises from auto accident.

August 29, 2005 – DHS receives a report of allegations of abuse. It states that Kelsey has bruises on her face, a mark on her nose, she appears to have lost weight, and she’s acting timid. This report is “screened out” due to the fact that Kelsey’s doctor documented the injuries from the auto accident on August 25th.

August 26, 2005 - CHBS visits Kelsey, Raye Dawn, and family at their home.

August 30, 2005 – Raye Dawn takes Kelsey to DHS, who refers Kelsey to the Child Study Center in Oklahoma City for play therapy counseling.

August 30, 2005 – The Court receives a letter from Kelsey’s doctor recommending that Kelsey remain in one home so that her “tonic seizure activity” can be evaluated.

August 31, 2005 – Raye Dawn takes Kelsey to Dr. Koons for her Hepatitis A shot. Raye Dawn calls DHS to report Kelsey’s progress and the fact that she’s eating well.

September 1, 2005 – Raye Dawn takes Kelsey to Dr. Koons. CHBS visits Kelsey, Raye Dawn, and family at their home.

September 2, 2005 – An application for an emergency order is filed by the District Attorney requesting that unsupervised visits with Ashley be discontinued so Kelsey’s seizure activity can be monitored. A hearing is set for September 8, 2005 to determine if visitation will be stopped. The application has a letter from the child’s doctor attached. CHBS visits Kelsey, Raye Dawn, and family at their home.

September 2, 2005 – Ashley calls DHS concerning her visitation being suspended. The DHS worker informs her that there would be a hearing on September 8, 2005 to determine visitation.

September 4, 2005 – The Porter family goes to Frontier City in Oklahoma City where Kelsey rides many different rides. The question has been raised of the possibility that the impact of the rides could have caused the blunt force trauma to the abdomen and re-injured the internal injuries from the auto accident.

September 6, 2005 – Kelsey has a self-inflicted eye injury after rubbing adult shampoo out of her eye. CHBS and DHS visit Kelsey, Raye Dawn, and family at their home at two separate times during the day.

September 7, 2005 – CASA visits Kelsey, Raye Dawn, and family at their home.

September 8, 2005 – I hear the case to terminate visitation rights. Nobody from the paternal family shows at the hearing. Not even their attorney. The DA’s office and Kelsey’s attorney make a motion to dismiss Kelsey’s case because things are going so well. This would have been three months after I had given her back. The motion is withdrawn after I take them in chambers and they read the Ryan Luke’s law that says a deprived child case cannot be dismissed until six months after a child is returned to his or her parents. I rule as follows:

·      No unsupervised visits with any of the Briggs family members, except for with Lance

·      CASA to be able to talk to CHBS

September 13, 2005 – CHBS goes with Raye Dawn to Children’s Hospital in Oklahoma City for a doctor’s appointment.

September 20, 2005 – Raye Dawn takes Kelsey to Dr. Koons.

September 22, 2005 - CHBS visits Kelsey, Raye Dawn, and family at their home.

September 23, 2005 – Lance calls DHS with questions about Kelsey. He had been injured while driving a truck in Iraq and was in the United States. He wants Kelsey delivered to the airport to see him when he returns to Oklahoma.

September 27, 2005 - CHBS goes with Raye Dawn to Children’s Hospital in Oklahoma City for a doctor’s appointment.

September 30, 2005 - DHS visits Kelsey, Raye Dawn, and family at their home.

October 4, 2005 - CHBS visits Kelsey, Raye Dawn, and family at their home.

October 6, 2005 - CHBS visits Kelsey, Raye Dawn, and family at their home.

Raye Dawn reports to DHS that Kelsey was heard saying “Never see mommy again. Never see grandma again.” When asked where she heard those words, Kelsey responded “That girl.”

October 6, 2005 – Lance calls DHS and informs them that he lied about his whereabouts and that he had been in Fort Benning, Georgia since September 21, 2005 and not in Iraq.

October 7, 2005 – Yolanda, a DHS worker, visits Kelsey’s home and finds she is improving. Kelsey runs and hugs Yolanda.

October 11, 2005 – CHBS, makes a house visit and finds Kelsey to be fine. There is a turtle by her car and Kelsey and Raye Dawn take the turtle to the porch where Kelsey plays with it.

Later that day, October 11, 2005 – Kelsey is rushed to hospital with blunt force trauma to her stomach. She died.

This is Kathie's Timeline. Notice it quits right before she quit.

Documentation of bruises:
 
 
3-14 3-14-2005--small bruise on head while with maternal uncle

3-21-205--Raye Dawn stated she got blood in her eye from a sore on her hand. Eye had been matted shut that morning. Got Kelsey home she said her mouth hurt and she had green snot in nose. Called and got her Dr. appointment for the next morning. She had a sore throat, eye infection, and sinus infection needed more antibiotics.
 

3-24 3-24-2005--entire bridge of nose was blue, Raye Dawn said she fell at her apartment. Later that day nose was slightly more swollen and Kelsey complained so I took her to the ER for x-ray at approximately 8:45. Doctor then came in and said he had called DHS. I told him I would call and speak to caseworker the next morning. It was around midnight when we left

3-25-2005--Called Yolanda Hunter and left voice message. Krystal Johnson called and asked why I did not report the nose at noon the previous day. I told her I did not feel it was serious and I thought I was only suppose to document each bruise. She slightly scolded me and stated it should have been called in.
 

3-31 3-31-2005--had 2 small bruises on back and 2 on leg.

 

4-5-2005--bruises on Kelsey. Ashley contacted DHS. Krystal Johnson made home visit and took pictures. I failed to accurately document this with list of witnesses. This is the visit where Lance was in town and the DHS worker asked why Lance wasn't there and Kathie told her that it didn't concern him so he went on about his day.


4-14 4-14-2005--sprained ankle-bite mark that Kelsey said she put on herself on her lower arm, another bruise on arm, bruise on right thigh
 

4-15 4-15-2005--two bruises on left thigh and one on same leg straight across on inside of leg.
 

4-16 4-27-2005--had pump knot on nose. Raye Dawn said seven-year-old stepdaughter, Whitney, elbowed her during the night.
 

April 14—Kelsey sprains ankle while with maternal aunt. She is returned to me at 6:30pm for a birthday party and Raye is to pick her up again that night at 9:00pm. We called the DHS hotline to report the injury as instructed by Krystal Johnson. They said keep her over night and she needed to be taken to the DHS office the next morning.
 

April 15—Raye and Miste Smith picked Kelsey up at 9:15 to take her to the DHS office. I asked Raye to call me on Monday morning and let me know how Kelsey’s foot was so I could cancel her Gymnastics class. Krystal Johnson scolded me for calling the hotline.
 

April 18—Raye did not call to give me an update on Kelsey’s foot so Ashley called and spoke with Gymnastics instructor and they advised waiting a week since the injury was so fresh and eliminate any further damage. Raye returned Kelsey at 5:00pm and stated she did not want to walk on her foot yet. She and Mike Porter had married earlier that day. Kelsey was standing on her foot that day, but when Raye picked Kelsey up, she couldn't walk and Kathie did not take her to the doctor.
 

April 19—My daughter and I took Kelsey to Wal-Mart. She wanted to walk so I put her down and she tried four steps and was done.


April 21—My Aunt Janis Cotton came by for a visit around noon. She played with Kelsey and we visited. Around 2:15 she left, Kelsey and I then went to the Elementary School to pick up the other Grandchildren. We sat outside for a few minutes waiting for my daughter. Kelsey tried to take around five steps. We then went into the office and sat and visited with other school personnel. We arrived home around 3:30 and Raye picked Kelsey up at 4:00. Kelsey had stood some during the previous days next to the furniture, but did not try to walk. I did ask the PE Teacher at the school how long I should expect this sprain to last. She stated it depended on the sprain.
 

April 22—Saw Raye at her apartment in Meeker loading stuff for a garage sale. Stalker!
 

April 23—Raye had a garage sale. Stalker!


April 25—Yolanda Hunter called and questioned me about Kelsey’s swollen legs. I was not aware of any swelling. She stated both legs were swollen and had fever in them. She instructed Raye to take her to the Doctor. Yolanda called back that afternoon and stated Kelsey had 2 broken legs. She had given Raye permission to keep her overnight and take her for casts the next day. Yolanda called again around 4:00 and advised me to go to the appointment to listen to care instructions by the Doctor.


April 26—Got a call from my daughter stating Raye’s appointment was earlier than the original time. Dr. Barretts nurse stated she had changed the time and did not know she was to notify me. Raye calls from her Grandmothers around 12:00pm and asked when I wanted Kelsey home. I told her to finish her visit and bring her to me.


April 27—Met Raye in Meeker at noon to exchange Kelsey for her middle of the week visit.


April 28—Met Raye at noon to get Kelsey back. She had a knot on her nose. Raye stated to my daughter and myself that her seven-year-old stepdaughter had elbowed her. I also told Raye that it had been recommended to me to get a second opinion on Kelsey’s legs. I asked her if she would like to take her and she did. That afternoon Kelsey was crying dramatically for her Mommy. She had never done this before so we contacted Raye to come take her for a ride or to just visit. Before Raye got to my home she had stopped crying and was playing. When Raye tried to pick her up, she would only say “I want Grandma”. While Raye was here we asked her more about Kelsey’s legs and she stated that they had swollen up on Thursday night and had fever in them. She stated she thought it was because she had not been using them and was making her walk all weekend. I also asked her about a mark on her elbow and she stated it was from scraping the wall while trying to walk. Raye left, I asked Kelsey why she did not want her Mom and she stated she wanted Mommy Ashley. So I called Ashley and she went with us to a baseball game that evening. Kelsey was a little restless with her cast on, and couldn’t understand why she could not play on the playground. Ashley then took her to her Grandparents house to swing while I finished watching the game. The reason Kathie mentions calling Raye Dawn to come is because Raye Dawn was at the DHS office when she called. Raye Dawn said Kelsey did not reject her.


April 28--
April 29—David Burgess called and stated someone had seen Kelsey’s nose and reported it. He wanted me to bring Kelsey to Chandler. I had a play at the Elementary to attend and asked him to come to my house. He and Krystal Johnson came over about 3:45. I had all seven of my Grandchildren at my home and my daughter, Robynn to help watch them while I visited. David Burgess took pictures of Kelsey’s nose. It had already gone down over night and looked fine. Ashley had taken some pictures the night before
to put in our file. My husband came home at this time for the interview. David looked at the court order I stated Yolanda Hunter had broken the court order by forcing me to leave Kelsey with Raye an extra night. He also stated I could not give Kelsey back to Raye now that she was married unless she had the order modified. He then went on to say he wanted to give Kelsey back to the Mother so we could see where the injuries were coming from. He and Krystal both stated that Whitney Porter, the seven-year-old stepdaughter, would be questioned at school. She attends school in Shawnee so they stated they would contact Pott. County. Around 3:15 that afternoon Mike Porter called me to discuss a letter Greg Wilson had received from Jim Hodgens. He stated his name should not have been singled out unless we were accusing him of child abuse. He asked me several times if I was. I informed him I had not read the letter, but my position was I did not know who had abused Kelsey, I just knew someone had and Raye was responsible to protect her. He stated he had already retained a separate attorney to sue Jim Hodgens and myself for falsely accusing him. Raye called me that evening and inquired about the DHS visit. We discussed Kelsey going home on June 6th. I discussed wanting to waive my summer visitation and save it for Lance whenever he could come home. I told her I thought it would be better for Kelsey to get into a routine and I was happy with my weekend visits I had previously had. I felt the conversation went well. She called again later that night. My daughter was sitting there so I put it on speakerphone. Raye was concerned if I took Kelsey to the Doctor in OKC and they suspected abuse that OK. County would take Kelsey. I explained it was only a second opinion to check into a problem with growth plates and I couldn’t imagine why abuse could be suspected.
 

April 30—Raye called to see if I could reschedule appointment due to a family funeral. I told her I would try, but if it was going to be several days away that I would take her myself. She asked to have Kelsey during our weekend if there were any family gatherings due to the passing of her Great Grandmother. I agreed.


May 1—Raye called and spoke to my daughter around 1:00pm wanting Kelsey at 3:00. My daughter called me and I came straight home. Raye kept Kelsey until 5:00. She had gotten her hair cut at my suggestion to make it look healthier. Remember that Kathie said Kelsey's hair was fine while at her house and she denied that Kelsey was losing hair while staying with her.


May 2—I called the OU Physicians Clinic to reschedule appointment. The next opening was more than a week away so I kept the one for that same day. Raye came and picked Kelsey up at 11:45 that day for a dinner before the funeral. I met them at the Church at 12:45 to take Kelsey to the doctor. Raye Dawn was disappointed that the appointment was not re-scheduled. My Aunt, Janis Cotton went with me. Dr. Sullivan told me of his suspicion and suggested I call my caseworker. Janis testified that Kathie told the doctor that Raye Dawn was abusing Kelsey. The doctor then noted on her chart that it was a case of child abuse.


May 3—I called David Burgess to report the Doctors opinion. He stated it was possible he would be taking Kelsey into custody. At 4:00 Krystal Johnson called an asked me to bring Kelsey to Chandler to be placed in a foster home.


May 4—We find out Gayla Smith has Kelsey.


May 5—HearingTime Line