Kasandra Perkins was the woman Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher killed before taking his own life on Dec. 1, 2012. Belcher's mother has filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against the football team for not better protecting him from "repetitive head trauma."
USA Today reported Jan. 1 that Belcher's mother -- Cheryl Shepherd -- alleged in court documents that the Chiefs failed to provide adequate medical care before he killed his girlfriend, Kasandra, 22, then himself.
Could Kasandra's death -- as well as his -- have been better prevented if he was more closely monitored for any type of head injury? It is hard to know, but Belcher's body was exhumed from a cemetery in Bay Shore, N.Y. after his family requested he have his brain studied for chronic traumatic encephalopathy. It is a "degenerative neurological condition. CTE has been linked to multiple concussions and includes symptoms such as memory problems, behavioral changes and eventually dementia," the report said.
Shepherd wants a jury trial and judgment "in excess of $15,000 for actual damages, punitive damages, and/or aggravating circumstances, for the cost of this action, and for such relief as the court deems fair and reasonable." Belcher's mother feels the Chiefs did not make her son aware of both short-term and long-term risks associated with concussions. The report summarizes the court documents by stating Shepherd claimed that the Chiefs "failed to identify and remove Belcher from practice or games after sustaining head trauma; failed to educate Belcher about concussions; failed to monitor or treat Belcher for neurological dysfunction; and failed to provide appropriate counseling."
The lawsuit adds that back in 2009, Belcher was knocked unconscious while playing against the Jaguars in Jacksonville in 2009. Shepherd said her son did not receive the treatment he needed before playing again.
Belcher shot Kasandra Perkins to death at home while his mother was caring for their three-month-old baby daughter in another room. Belcher immediately fled the scene, speeding his way to the Chiefs training facility and ultimately shot himself in the head after he got to the parking lot.
Read more about the reported the argument Jovan Belcher had with Kasandra Perkins before he killed her in the article HERE.
Will the outcome of Jovan Belcher's brain study and the result of Cheryl Shepherd's lawsuit give Kasandra's family any type of closure? Was he suffering from CTE when he committed a murder-suicide?