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Jovan Belcher likely suffered from CTE, post-mortem brain exam shows

Over a year and a half after Belcher murdered his girlfriend and committed suicide, an examination suggests he suffered from a brain disease frequently found in former NFL players.


A post-mortem examination of the brain of Jovan Belcher -- the former Kansas City Chiefs linebacker who shot and killed his girlfriend before committing suicide -- revealed extensive brain damage likely caused by chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a report from the Kansas City Star revealed.

Known as CTE, the neurodegenerative disease has been posthumously diagnosed in dozens of former NFL players. Triggered by repeated head trauma, it has been linked to dementia, memory loss and depression.

Attorneys representing the interests of Belcher's daughter, Zoe -- who was three-months old at the time of the tragedy -- hired Dr. Piotr Kozlowski to examine her father's brain. The body was exhumed one year after his 2012 death and the examination was carried out two weeks later. Belcher's daughter and mother would be eligible for up to $4 million under a proposed settlement between the NFL and former players, and attorneys for both have separately filed wrongful-death lawsuits against the Chiefs. As part of the league's collective bargaining agreement, the NFL is already providing financial support for his daughter, and will continue to do so until she is at least 18.

Belcher shot himself in the players' parking lot outside of Arrowhead Stadium in Dec. 2012, hours after fatally shooting his girlfriend of three years, Kasandra Perkins.