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Custody of Jovan Belcher's daughter to cousin

Published June 20, 2013 1:58 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Kansas City, Mo. • A Texas woman whose cousin was fatally shot by a Kansas City Chiefs player who then killed himself has been given custody of the couple's infant daughter.

Jackson County Probate Commissioner Daniel Wheeler issued his order Thursday afternoon, awarding custody of 9-month-old Zoey Belcher to Sophie Perkins of Pflugerville, Texas.

Zoey was orphaned Dec. 1 when Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher killed Kasandra Perkins, then drove to Arrowhead Stadium and shot himself in front of coaches and the team's then-general manager.

Belcher's mother, Cheryl Shepherd of West Babylon, N.Y., also was seeking custody of the girl. Shepherd had been staying at the couple's Kansas City home and was there when Kasandra Perkins was killed.