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Judge gives cousin custody of Belcher's daughter

Published on NewsOK Modified: June 20, 2013 at 6:16 pm •  Published: June 20, 2013

Shepherd's attorneys did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

Other than some trips to New York to spend time with Shepherd, Zoey has mostly stayed with Perkins in Texas since the shooting. The time the girl spent bonding with Perkins played a role in Wheeler's decision, he wrote, as did the police calls to Shepherd's home.

"There have been numerous police reports made from Ms. Cheryl Shepherd's home during the past twenty years," wrote Wheeler. "While not controlling, and while not making Ms. Shepherd's home inappropriate to raise Minor, the Court concludes that this is evidence of Ms. Sophie Perkins' home being more stable than Ms. Shepherd's home, and this favors the appointment of Ms. Perkins as guardian."

Zoey is to receive more than $1 million under the NFL's collective bargaining agreement, including $108,000 annually over the next four years, $48,000 in the fifth year and $52,000 each year until she turns 18. She will continue to receive that amount until she is 23 if she attends college.

A trust funded with money from the Chiefs owners, coaches, players, employees and the public will also help care for the child.

Commerce Trust Co. has been appointed as conservator of Zoey's estate and will handle her finances.