Capitals

Belcher told cops he was waiting for 'girlfriend'

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Belcher told cops he was waiting for 'girlfriend'

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher told officers who found him sleeping in his car outside an apartment complex hours before he committed a murder-suicide that he was there to visit a woman he described as his ``girlfriend,'' but that she wasn't home.

The apartment complex is about 10 miles from the Kansas City home Belcher shared with 22-year-old Kasandra Perkins, the mother of their 3-month-old daughter Zoey. Belcher shot Perkins at their home Saturday morning before driving to Arrowhead Stadium, where he committed suicide in the practice facility's parking lot, police said.

Police responded to a report about 2:50 a.m. Saturday of a man sleeping in his car outside an apartment building, police spokesman Darin Snapp said Tuesday. When police approached the car, Belcher got out of the vehicle and was cooperative, Snapp said.

``We ask him `Why are you sleeping here?', and he says he's there to visit his girlfriend, but she's not home,'' Snapp said.

When police determined Belcher didn't have any outstanding warrants, Snapp said Belcher, 25, made a phone call and a short time later, a woman let Belcher into her building. Police did not question the woman and don't know who she is, he said.

``When he was sleeping she may have come home, and he didn't realize,'' Snapp said. ``He was very cooperative and thanked the officers.''

Snapp said that was the last contact police had with Belcher ``until his name came up'' with the shooting at his home.

Witnesses have since told police that Belcher stayed at that apartment until 6:30 a.m., Snapp said.

At about 7:50 a.m., police were called to Belcher's home after he had shot and killed Perkins, whose body was found on the floor of the master bathroom with multiple gunshot wounds, according to a police incident report.

Belcher then drove about five miles to Arrowhead Stadium, where he was met by general manager Scott Pioli and coach Romeo Crennel, who Belcher thanked for all they had done for him. When police arrived, Belcher moved behind a vehicle, out of clear view of officers, Snapp said. He said Belcher then knelt down and shot himself once in the head.

Snapp said Belcher also used two separate, legally registered handguns in the shootings.

Friends have said the relationship between Belcher and Perkins was strained. The couple briefly lived apart recently before getting back together by Thanksgiving, friend Brianne York told The Associated Press.

Kansas City Chiefs spokesman Ted Crews said Tuesday he wasn't aware of what counseling efforts the team may have made for Belcher and Perkins.

Belcher played college football at the University of Maine, where he repeatedly was the subject of university police reports. A University of Maine spokeswoman provided the reports to the AP.

In April 2006, Belcher punched his fist through a dorm window after becoming upset over a woman, documents said.

And in February 2007, a noise complaint was lodged after ``a discussion outside of his room'' between Belcher and a woman. The report says ``both stated that she was to contact him by 23:00 hours and did not. He became worried and when she did show up he told her that he did not want to see her until the morning.''

Also Tuesday, police posted a brief audio recording of some of Saturday morning's dispatch traffic. In the 1-minute, 41-second audio compilation, a dispatcher is relaying information about the shooting at Belcher's home.

In one segment, the dispatcher says a 22-year-old woman had been shot at the Belcher address, ``possibly by her son.''

In another segment, the dispatcher says someone is at Arrowhead with an unknown weapon and later that an ``unknown party at the (Chiefs) practice field confronted the staff and they don't know what he's armed with.''

Snapp said that was the only audio police planned to release regarding the shootings.

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Associated Press writers Heather Hollingsworth, Dave Skretta and Chris Clark in Kansas City, Mo., contributed to this report.

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Capitals are the class of the Metropolitan Division for fifth year in a row

Capitals are the class of the Metropolitan Division for fifth year in a row

You know what’s fun? Winning Metropolitan Division titles. 

No, it’s not as good as the big prize. The Capitals will never top their 2018 Stanley Cup championship. But winning a competitive division against their biggest rivals five years in a row? Pretty, pretty good. 

Washington took its fifth in a row officially on Tuesday when the NHL announced that the regular season had concluded thanks to the ongoing coronavirus. The Capitals just outlasted the Philadelphia Flyers with 90 standings points to 89. The difference over 69 games? One extra Caps game going into overtime for a single point. 

Credit to the Flyers for making a late run. No one was playing better in the NHL than Philadelphia just before the season was halted. Whether that carries over into the Stanley Cup Playoffs remains to be seen. 

But the Capitals should take pride in that streak. It’s hard to do in an age of parity. They play in a division where the Pittsburgh Penguins won two Stanley Cups in the previous four seasons. The two teams slugged it out three times in the second round. That’s the luck of the draw, and so four straight division titles -- and two Presidents’ Trophies -- meant just one Cup for Washington. 

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It’s also rare to dominate a division the way the Capitals have for five years. The Anaheim Ducks won the Pacific Division title every year from 2013 to 2017. Prior to that, the Detroit Red Wings won the Central Division an astounding eight times from 2001 to 2009. It doesn’t get you a championship -- Washington won the expired Southeast Division from 2008 to 2011 -- but it does mean you played great hockey year after year.

And to do it in the reconstituted Patrick Division, where long-time rivals like the Penguins, Flyers, Rangers, Islanders and Devils joined with newer rivals Carolina and Columbus, makes it even sweeter. Add another banner to the rafters at Capital One Arena. The Caps are the class of the Metropolitan Division yet again. 

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Nationals will not lay off full-time business or baseball employees amid coronavirus pandemic

Nationals will not lay off full-time business or baseball employees amid coronavirus pandemic

The Washington Nationals decided to use “partial furloughs” to keep their baseball and business employees at work through the end of their contracts or the calendar year.

The road map works like this:

All full-time business and baseball employees will receive a reduction in pay and hours ranging from 10 to 30 percent. If the employee’s contract runs to the end of baseball season -- typically Oct. 31 -- then these parameters apply from now until then. If the employee is not on contract, these reductions persist until Dec. 31.

No full-time employee is being laid off because of the economic impact from coronavirus.

An example: If a person works a 40-hour week, and has the 10 percent reduction in pay and hours, they are down to a 36-hour week at 10 percent pay cut.

The reduction scale slides. The highest-paid employees, like Mike Rizzo, are taking the largest reduction in pay. Then on down the line.

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The Nationals deciding to do this now allows their staff to know what the future holds as opposed to wondering month-to-month what decision the organization will make in regard to their job status.

Major League Baseball organizations remain uneasy about their financial future in 2020 since the season has stalled. The league and its team owners are in the midst of negotiations with the MLBPA while attempting to find a safe, revenue-satisfactory path back to the field.

Meanwhile, teams across the league are assessing their non-player finances, and the approach varies. For instance, the Anaheim Angels decided last week to furlough some non-playing employees.

In Washington, no full-time employee will be laid off because of this salary adjustment.

USA Today was first to report the Nationals’ overall decision.

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