Jovan Belcher’s relationship called strained


Kansas City Chiefs
linebacker Jovan Belcher
was on and off and marked
by tension that had
escalated after the birth of
their daughter, according to
a relative and a friend of
Perkins. She was fatally
shot Saturday by Belcher
before he killed himself.
In a phone interview
Sunday, Angela Perkins,
32, who said she is the
victim’s cousin, said Belcher
and Perkins — whom she
called Kasi — had “been
having a lot of problems.
They weren’t getting along
for quite a while.”
The relationship between
Kasandra Perkins and
Perkins, who said she
spent time at the couple’s
home both before and after
their 3-month-old daughter
was born, said the stress
of having a baby just
before the season and
Belcher’s constant time
away from home for
practice and road games
“really put a strain” on
their relationship
“There was just a lot going
on. She was stressed. He
was stressed,” said
Perkins. Arguing was “a
regular thing. It just started
to go bad, but they had the
child, and they were trying
to make it work.”
Across the street from the
Jackson County medical
examiner’s office in
Kansas
City, Mo., where friends and
relatives of Perkins and
Belcher had parked, Lynell
Diggs, a friend of Perkins,
confirmed the relationship
was troubled.
“He didn’t want her going
out with the baby at home,”
said Diggs, who said she
had attended the
Trey
Songz concert Friday night
with Perkins.
Diggs said Perkins had
expressed concern about
Belcher’s mental state. “She
knew something was off
with him,” she said, adding
that Perkins had talked of it
at a restaurant after the
show.
“She went out to take a
break. She was dealing with
a lot,” Diggs said of
Perkins’ desire to go to the
concert. “I can’t believe he
did this to her. Tell people
how good she was. She was
special.”
But Charmaine Shepherd,
Belcher’s sister, cautioned
against prejudging what
happened between her
brother and his girlfriend.
Belcher and Perkins were
“the only people who knew
what went on their
relationship,” she said.
“And both of them are
gone,” Shepherd said. “But
people are going to say
what they want.”
Perkins and a Kansas City,
Mo., police spokesman says
the baby, Zoey Michelle
Belcher, is in her
grandmother’s custody,
safe and unharmed.
Perkins said the plan for
now is for the baby to go to
Long Island to live.
Outside the couple’s home
in a trendy new subdivision
in Independence, Mo.,
Perkins’ friend, Lauren Hall,
25, said Perkins was close
with several wives and
girlfriends of Chiefs players
and had a busy social life
despite only moving here
from Dallas three years
ago.
“She was a happy new
mom,” said Hall. “She
strolled the baby around
the neighborhood. She was
really looking forward to
raising her here and
becoming a teacher” in
Kansas City.
Hall said she was also with
Perkins and several other
women Friday night at the
Trey Songz concert, and
afterward at the
restaurant. “She was happy
that night,” she said.
“Before she went home,
she was happy. That’s how
I’ll remember her.”
She also said the women
returned to the restaurant
Sunday in Perkins’ honor to
reminisce about their
deceased friend.
Back in West Babylon,
family and neighbors of
Belcher, who was raised
there, struggled Sunday to
reconcile the violent
circumstances surrounding
his death with the man they
knew.
“No one knows what
happened but those two. I
wish he would have said
something to someone . . .
We’re all coming together. It
shocks all of us,” said Eric
Oakes, 20, a cousin of
Belcher.
He described Belcher, 25,
and Perkins, 22, as a
happy couple and said
Belcher’s mother, Cheryl
Shepherd, 58, had been out
visiting her son to help
care for the baby. She is
now expected to return
home Sunday or Monday
with the child. Funeral
arrangements are pending,
Oakes said, adding that as
long as the baby has the
grandmother and family, the
baby will be fine.
Oakes said Belcher was
“more than a cousin, he
was a father figure.”
Oakes, a former running
back for West Babylon High
School who was wearing a
Kansas City Chiefs jersey
with Belcher’s number, 59,
said, “He’s the reason I
started playing
football.”
Oakes said his cousin didn’t
experience any head
trauma as of late from
football and that he wasn’t
on any medication.
“It’s hard to figure out,”
said Emanual Logan, who
lives next door, and
watched Belcher grow up.
“He was a pleasant guy,”
said Logan, recalling how
Belcher hosted a block
party for children in the
neighborhood this past
summer.
“It’s really out of character
for him, but there must
have been something in his
past to suggest he could
commit an act like this,”
said former neighbor
Marieme Lo, 37.
Belcher fatally shot his
girlfriend in their Kansas
City, Mo., home Saturday
morning and then killed
himself in front of his coach
at
Arrowhead Stadium,
authorities said.

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