DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – After two weeks of mudslinging testimony, the child custody hearing is over between former Dallas Cowboy and NFL Hall of Famer Deion Sanders and his estranged wife Pilar.
A 12-member jury voted 11-1 to grant Deion sole custody and conservatorship of the couple’s 13 and 11-year old sons. The couple will share custody and conservatorship of their 9-year old daughter, though Deion has the power to determine where she will live.
anders walked out of the courtroom smiling, with his arm around his attorney.
“In any war there will be casualties,” he said. “I just didn’t want my kids to be the casualties.”
His attorney Rick Robertson who had the opportunity to speak to jurors after the decision, said they commented that they did not believe allegations that Sanders abused his children, and thought it was grandstanding.
Pilar Sanders lashed out at her estranged husband following the decision, calling him a “black-faced performer” and a “Mr. Bojangles.” Attorney Larry Friedman said Sanders’ time with the Cowboys worked against them in the case.
“You sue someone with a blue star on their helmet it’s like suing the pope in Vatican City,” he said.
The trial had included allegations Deion Sanders kept guns accessible to children. His attorneys suggested Pilar worked for a phone sex line. Both sides claimed the other was using steroids.
Pilar Sanders’ attorney said they would appeal, calling it just “halftime” in the case. Issues with a prenuptial agreement, visitation and child support are still unresolved.
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