Jury decides custody of Deion Sanders' children



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Posted on March 12, 2013 at 5:07 PM

Updated Wednesday, Mar 13 at 2:12 AM

McKINNEY — A Collin County jury ruled Tuesday that Deion Sanders will get primary custody of his three children with estranged wife Pilar.

It took the jury just one hour and 44 minutes to reach a decision.

The couple's only daughter will get shared custody between Deion and Pilar; the two sons will go to the former Dallas Cowboys star.

This was not a unanimous decision. Eleven of the 12 jurors agreed to the custody arrangement.

Deion Sanders shook hands with his legal team after the decision was announced. Pilar sat with her team at a separate table.

"So many pieces of evidence, solid facts, were not able to be admitted as evidence," she told reporters after the verdict was announced. "Now if that's not prejudice... if that's not one-sided... you have to be blind, dumb, crazy, and stupid."

The judge will now determine the custody schedule.

"In any war there will be casualties, but I didn't want my children to be casualties," Deion Sanders told reporters. "I'm just happy this part is over. I moved on privately a long time ago."

There are still other issues to settle in the Sanders' divorce case, including a ruling on a pre-nuptual agreement.

The jury's verdict came just hours after closing arguments in the contentious child custody trial.

"It is a shame that we are here," said Rick Roberston, Deion Sanders' attorney.

During testimony, Mr. Sanders said his goal for his kids is, "To live a normal life style. To go to college, get a degree, and be somebody... to just be good kids."

The trial started more than a week ago, and entered the final stage with Pilar Sanders' attorney arguing that she was a sole parent while Deion traveled.

"Pilar taught her children good character," said Larry Friedman. "She taught them to respect themselves; to respect others."

Also during his closing argument, Friedman said the evidence showed that, "Deion loved himself more than he loves his kids."

Under the law, only 10 of the 12 jurors were required to reach an agreement. Both sides have agreed that the children will reside in Collin County.

E-mail mmoore@wfaa.com and jwhitely@wfaa.com