Custody of the late Belcher’s baby daughter is awarded to relative of slain mother

A Texas woman whose cousin was fatally shot by a Kansas City Chiefs player who then killed himself has been given custody of the couple’s infant daughter.

On Thursday, Jackson County Probate Commissioner Daniel Wheeler awarded custody of 9-month-old Zoey Belcher to Sophie Perkins of Pflugerville, Texas.

Zoey was orphaned Dec. 1 when Chiefs linebacker and former UMaine standout Jovan Belcher killed Kasandra Perkins and then drove to Arrowhead Stadium and shot himself in front of team personnel.

Belcher’s mother, Cheryl Shepherd of West Babylon, N.Y., also was seeking custody of the girl.

BRONCOS: Free-agent center Dan Koppen re-signed following lingering ankle problems to ex-starter J.D. Walton.

A former Patriot, Koppen signed with the Broncos last fall and started 12 games after Walton first hurt his ankle.


PENN STATE: Football coach Bill O’Brien agreed to an amended contract that will raise his pay by nearly $1 million for his second season. The Nittany Lions were 8-4 last season following the scandal that brought down longtime icon Joe Paterno.


EASTBOURNE: Qualifier Jamie Hampton became the first American since Jennifer Capriati in 2003 to reach the semifinals in Britain after rallying past Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic, 3-6, 7-6 (1), 6-4.

She’ll play fifth-seeded Caroline Wozniacki.

TOPSHELF OPEN: Stanislas Wawrinka defeated fifth-seeded Jeremy Chardy 6-4, 7-6 (2) to reach the semifinals in the Netherlands.

In the women’s draw, Dominika Cibulkova lost 6-4, 6-4 to Garbine Muguruza. Simona Halep defeated Lesia Tsurenko 6-3, 6-1 to set up a semifinal with Carla Suarez Navarro, who rallied by Tsvetana Pironkova, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4.

ACCUSED: Former Grand Slam doubles champ Bob Hewitt was served a summons to appear in a South African court to face allegations he sexually abused young girls he coached decades ago, prosecutors told The Associated Press.


FLYERS: Underperforming forward Danny Briere is an unrestricted free agent after having the last two years of his contract bought out.


BMW INTERNATIONAL OPEN: South Africa’s Ernie Els shot a 9-under 63 to hold the lead in the opening round at Munich.


U.S. WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM: Abby Wambach broke Mia Hamm’s record for international career goals, scoring four times in the first half against South Korea to push her total to 160.

Wambach tallied three times in the first 29 minutes to break Hamm’s mark of 158 international goals, and she added another in injury time to give her a nice round number.

– From news service reports