The custody hearing for Zoey Perkins, the daughter of slain mother Kasandra Perkins and her father Jovan Belcher who after murdering Kasandra then turned the gun on himself, has begun with relatives from both sides of her family seeking custody.
Belcher’s mother, Cheryl Shepherd, who lives in West Babylon, N.Y., testified in court on Tuesday that it would be in the best interest of the 9-month-old to be raised with her. She stated that there were several dozen relatives that lived within close proximity to her that Zoey would be raised around and that she and her mother Kasandra had become close during her son’s relationship.
Perkins’ cousin Sophie Perkins, who has been caring for the child, is also seeking custody. Shepherd has said that either of them would provide a loving home for her grandchild but believes as the grandmother she should be granted custody.
When asked why she should be Zoey’s primary caregiver Shepherd said:
”To show her and tell her all the good things that I know of her mother and father,” Shepherd said. ”That’s my grandbaby. The love — and she’s so full of love — you just love her and love her some more.”
Shepherd initially wanted to be listed as trustee over the more $1 million in assets Zoey will inherit, but wisely both families have agreed to let a third-party control the finances which includes $108,000 annually for the next four years, $48,000 in the fifth year, and $52,000 for every year after that until she turns 18 or 23 if she attends college. A trust has also been set up for Zoey by the Chiefs’ ownership, coaches, players, employees, and the public. Belcher’s estate, which his daughter is the beneficiary of, will receive $600,000 for a life insurance policy, $200,000 for each season he played, and $100,000 in a retirement account.
The real victim in this travesty is Zoey, and prior to issuing his/her ruling the judge needs to make sure that the family is seeking custody for the right reasons. We all know that when large sums of money are involved people’s motives can often become questionable.