Custody of Zoey Belcher awarded to mother’s cousin

A judge in Kansas City has ruled on the matter of custody of the nine-month old girl orphaned last year when her father, Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher, killed her mother Kassandra Perkins and then shot himself in the head.

Brian Burnes of the Kansas City Star reports that Jackson County Probate Commissioner Daniel Wheeler said in a ruling that the court has awarded custody of young Zoey Belcher to Sophie Perkins, a cousin of her mother. The court was asked to choose between Sophie Perkins and Cheryl Shepherd, the mother of Zoey’s late father. Other maternal family members were also party to the proceedings and Wheeler, who said both women would make appropriate guardians, had a message for all of them in his ruling.

“Based upon the evidence submitted, including the opinions of an expert witness, the Court determines one party is the most suitable person … and whose appointment serves the best interests of the child to a stable and permanent placement,” Wheeler wrote. “The other party, and the other interested persons, will retain the critical role of family members.”

Wheeler also wrote in his ruling that both Shepherd and Perkins had agreed that any funds due Zoey would be “managed by a corporate fiduciary” and  appointed Commerce Trust Company as conservator of the child’s estate. While there’s no way to make things totally right for Zoey, let’s all hope that everyone involved in the custody hearing now turns their attention toward making sure that a life already filled with too much tragedy proceeds as happily as possible from now on.

12 responses to “Custody of Zoey Belcher awarded to mother’s cousin

  1. “Wheeler also wrote in his ruling that both Shepherd and Perkins had agreed that any funds due Zoey would be “managed by a corporate fiduciary” and appointed Commerce Trust Company as conservator of the child’s estate.”

    I hate to say something like this, but thank God! Hopefully there is no way for the family to access the trust except by proving that the requested funds are for the care and benefit of the child. Too many cats are looking for ways to get paid these days, I hope the concern in this case was over the child and not the funds that the child will receive.

  2. I hope the majority of the money goes in a trust which can’t be touched until she’s a responsible adult, typically 25 years old. Otherwise, the family members are just using her as a lottery ticket.

  3. Commerce Trust is a very solid, long standing local bank, so at that aspect of young Zoey’s life as an orphan should not be a problem. Overall, it seems that as good a resolution as possible has been reached.

    God bless.

  4. I just pray that the funds stay in trust for the little girl and that the guardian is responsible and kind to her. I pray she is safe.
    God bless her

  5. Nowhere a chief or K.C fan but this is different. i prey to God he watches over this baby. what awful way to lose your parents and i hope all of the babies family rally around her to help raise this baby. may god be with the whole family that had to endure this. and the whole K.C community

  6. A corporate “fiduciary.” That’s a made up word or I’m not a corporeal anthropomorphigy.

  7. I can tell you she is a happy, sweet, beautiful little girl. She is blessed to have a nice home. The judge picked a wonderful warm woman to raise Zoey.
    You watch, some day Zoey is going to be an amazing woman.
    She is happy, she is healthy, and she laughs all the time. She does not meet a stranger. At 9 months she is close to walking. She loves her friends in day care and is just amazing.

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