New details suggest Kansas City Chiefs player Jovan Belcher shot and killed his girlfriend Kassandra Perkins over questions of their daughter’s paternity. Belcher’s mother, Cheryl Shepard, was in the home that frightful morning and overheard the couple arguing–possibly about baby Zoey’s paternity. Belcher and Perkins had been in counseling for financial and relationship issues and this allegation might have been the straw that broke it all for the linebacker.
Even with that reasoning, it still doesn’t explain why Belcher shot and killed his girlfriend and then himself instead of, say, petitioning for a paternity test. The fact that he fled the home, went to the Kansas City Chiefs facility and shot himself in front of Chiefs staff indicates that there was more to this tragic event than doubts over his daughter’s paternity.
The question that remains now is will baby Zoey have to undergo a genetic test to determine whether Belcher was her father in order to get survivor benefits provided by the NFL players’ union. As the beneficiary of Belcher’s benefits policy provided under the NFL player’s union contract, Belcher’s daughter stands to receive more than adequate financial assistance throughout her lifetime.
The surviving-child clause of the NFL’s collective-bargaining agreement entitles baby Zoey more than $1 million. The breakdown of that money begins with $108,000 annually over the next four years; a sum of $48,000 in the fifth year and then $52,000 annually until she reaches 18 (23 if she attends college). Also, Belcher’s beneficiary (which he may not have named as his daughter) stands to receive $600,000 in life insurance, $100,000 for a retirement account and $200,000 per season that he played with the Chiefs. Belcher was in his fourth year, so that sum totals $800,000.
Still, the pain of losing a son, brother, father and teammate is more than money can compensate.
Perkins’s family is devastated at the loss of their young daughter and mother to their granddaughter, as well. While the linebacker’s mother, Ms. Shepard, has temporary custody of baby Zoey, Perkins’s family is determined to remain an active part of their granddaughter’s life. During their daughter’s service, the family member spoke on their plans to always love and care for baby Zoey.
“We will raise Baby Zoey in the knowledge of the love from which she was born,” Perkins’ family said in a statement to the press.
The “loyal, honest and trusting” Perkins, they said, “was dedicated to starting her new family and beyond excited about being a mother to her sweet baby.”
They conducted funeral services in Texas and didn’t mention her boyfriend Belcher during the memorial to their daughter.
At this time, there is no word on whether the NFL player’s union will require the child to undergo paternity/genetic testing with a surviving member of of Belcher’s family.