Report: Baby's paternity questioned in Belcher shooting

The SportsXchange

Jovan Belcher may have argued with girlfriend Kasandra Perkins over the paternity of their 11-week-old baby before shooting her and later killing himself, according to a report.

Belcher's mother, Cheryl Shepherd, told police investigators that he wasn't sure he was the father of the child, Zoey, the New York Post reported Friday. The Kansas City Chiefs linebacker shot Perkins nine times at their home on Dec. 1 in Kansas City.

Belcher, who was in his fourth season with the Chiefs, kissed Perkins after the shooting and the baby before leaving the scene, The Kansas City Star reported. He then drove to the Chiefs' practice facility and shot himself in front of team personnel.

"The mother believed that there was an issue over whether (Belcher) was the father" and that he "wasn't necessarily the father of the child," a source told the Post.

Shepherd was present during the shootings and now has custody of the baby. She said the family plans to help raise the child, but a permanent guardian has yet to be named.

Kansas City police consider the paternity dispute a civil matter, according to the Post. The murder-suicide investigation is expected to be completed shortly and given to prosecutors.

"That would not be something they're going to investigate," police spokesperson Sgt. Marisa Barnes told the Post. "It's a 'he-said, she-said,' so there's no way to investigate."

Zoey stands to collect more than $1 million in benefits from the NFL Players Association's surviving-child fund. Belcher's beneficiary also will get $600,000 in life insurance, a $100,000 retirement account and $200,000 for each season he played.
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