Judge Gives Cousin Custody of Belcher’s Daughter

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP)   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.