Chiefs' Jovan Belcher was drunk when he killed girlfriend, self, autopsy indicates

The Kansas City StarJanuary 14, 2013 

SPORTS FBN-CHIEFS-SUICIDE 16 KC

Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher is shown during an NFL game against the Atlanta Falcons.

DAVID EULITT — MCT/Kansas City Star

Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher was legally drunk when he killed his girlfriend at their home and then himself outside the team’s Arrowhead Stadium practice facility, according to autopsy results released today.

The results show Belcher’s blood-alcohol level was .17 when he died, about five hours after police found him sleeping in his Bentley in front of his secret girlfriend’s apartment.

The autopsy results for his live-in girlfriend, Kasandra Perkins, showed virtually no presence of alcohol. Both autopsies showed no trace of illegal drugs.

Police released their investigative case file last month, which detailed Belcher and Perkins’ problems, how Belcher’s mother and the Chiefs tried to help them and Belcher’s activities before the killings.

According to police:

The events began at 8:30 p.m. Nov. 30, when Belcher drove to his secret girlfriend’s apartment in the 700 block of Armour Boulevard while Perkins attended a concert downtown with friends. Belcher and his paramour drank and played cards, and Belcher agreed to accompany her and her friends to a club in the Power & Light District at 10:30 p.m. They left the district about 12:45 a.m. and kissed goodbye in the parking lot of her building.

Around 1 a.m., a friend of Perkins has told The Star, the couple argued about Perkins being out late. The friend never specified whether that encounter was in person or by telephone. The police report doesn’t mention this dispute, instead indicating that after his secret girlfriend went inside, Belcher fell asleep in his car.

Police roused him two hours later after someone called 911 to report his Bentley as suspicious. Officers noted the car was running and legally parked. They said Belcher “initially displayed possible signs of being under the influence (asleep and disoriented),” but after a few minutes of being awake, his demeanor and communication “became more fluid and coherent.” The officers and their sergeant could not smell any alcohol on his breath or person.

Belcher tried to call his secret girlfriend but could not reach her. He then knocked on a neighbor’s door. The two women inside said Belcher “appeared to be intoxicated.” He told them his friend wouldn’t come to her door, and they invited him inside to wait. He talked about his past and they said he “seemed to be in good spirits … laughing, joking.” He thanked them for letting him in their home. At 4:30 a.m., they gave him a pillow and blanket and he slept on the couch. He left at 6:45 a.m.

When Belcher arrived home, an argument broke out with Perkins. Shepherd overheard the shouting but didn’t intervene because Perkins had previously accused her of “interfering.”

After Shepherd heard gunshots, she ran to the bedroom and saw Belcher kneeling next to Perkins’ body, saying he was sorry. He kissed Perkins, his daughter and his mother and repeatedly apologized. He backed his Bentley out of the driveway, then got out, pulled off his sweatshirt and threw it in some bushes. He then drove to Arrowhead.

On the way, he apparently broke off the car’s rear-view mirror. Police later noted shattered glass on the dashboard and front passenger seat and the broken mirror resting on the seat. Police also saw blood on the gear shift and noted that Belcher’s body had cuts and blood on his right index and ring fingers.

Once at Arrowhead, Belcher encountered Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli.

“I’m sorry, Scott,” he said. “I’ve done a bad thing to my girlfriend already. I want to talk with (linebackers coach Gary) Gibbs and Romeo.”

Pioli then called the coaches to the parking lot. A security guard tried to stop them, but the coaches insisted. Despite their pleas for Belcher to put down the gun, Belcher only briefly lowered the Beretta .40-caliber handgun to chamber a round. He then walked away.

Crennel raised both his hands, pleading with Belcher to put the gun down. “You’re taking the easy way out!” Crennel yelled.

Belcher glanced at an approaching police officer, knelt behind a minivan, made the sign of the cross on his chest with his left hand and fired a bullet into his head above his right ear. Crennel slumped, dropped his hands and turned away from Belcher.

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