An autopsy conducted on Jovan Belcher, the former Kansas City Chiefs linebacker who infamously killed his girlfriend Kasandra Perkins before taking his own life in the Arrowhead Stadium parking, has offered up a bit of closure and chilling truth for his family.
The results found that the 25-year-old Belcher had visible signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, the same kind of brain damage that professional football players have been filing lawsuits over.
Reports Fox Sports:
The autopsy was performed last December at the request of lawyers for Zoey Belcher, the daughter of Jovan Belcher and Perkins. The results, sent in February to the attorneys and released to the media Monday, showed signs of CTE, which was also found in former NFL players Junior Seau and Dave Duerson, who both committed suicide.
“The microscopic findings of neurofibrillary tangles in young person are fully consistent with the pathological presentation of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy as it is reported in the available medical literature,” the report concluded.
Belcher’s mother, Cheryl Shepherd, filed a lawsuit in December in Jackson County Circuit Court in Kansas City alleging her son was subjected to “repetitive head trauma,” and that the Chiefs failed to provide adequate medical care before he killed his girlfriend and then committed suicide.
That lawsuit and similar actions by more than 30 plaintiffs — many of them former Chiefs players — has been moved to federal court and subsequently set aside while a $765 million settlement between the league and various lawsuits is going through the approval process.
Ken McClain, whose firm also is involved in the lawsuits against the Chiefs, said the autopsy findings support what the plaintiffs have been saying all along: that repeated head trauma can cause players to become angry and lose control of their impulses.
“The Chiefs knew he and his significant other were having major domestic violence issues and he had a major concussion two weeks before this happened,” McClain said.
Spokesmen for the Chiefs naturally decided to decline comment for the story.
Photo: Sprint Sports