Anthony K. Perkins told police he wasn’t at his estranged wife’s home when she was beaten and strangled there in June.
But DNA tests showed otherwise, according to court records released Wednesday to support a second-degree murder charge against Perkins, 48.
Jackson County prosecutors accused him of killing Sheree Y. Perkins, 50, inside her Kansas City home in the 1500 block of East 51st Street.
Although Sheree Perkin’s relatives had waited months for news of a break in the case, Wednesday’s charge didn’t provide the comfort that they expected.
“I’m not as ecstatic as I thought I would be,” said her son, Tyrone Watson-Ferguson. “What’s been done, cannot be reversed.”
Sheree and Anthony, who was known by his middle name of Keith, had separated several weeks before the killing, police said. Keith had moved in with another woman in the 1800 block of Monroe Avenue, according to court records.
On June 4, Sheree was with a friend who said Keith had been texting Sheree and the two had argued over money. The friend told police she overheard a phone call after they left the casino about 2:50 a.m. in which Keith said he was at Sheree’s home. Sheree responded: “I told you not to come to the house,” according to court records.
Sheree also called her daughter and told her not to go inside their house because Keith was there, the records said. Sheree dropped her friend off; Sheree’s daughter went to a friend’s home.
The daughter called Sheree between 3 a.m. and 3:45 a.m. but could not reach her. The daughter drove to the house, found the door unlocked and saw signs of a struggle inside. She retreated and called police, who arrived just after 4 a.m. and found Sheree’s body in the basement. Her tank top had been ripped off her body and her eyeglasses were broken.
Keith told police he went to Sheree’s house to have sex with her but that she never came home. He said he showered, got tired of waiting after about 30 minutes and walked home, which was about five miles away.
But DNA from the torn tank top matched Keith, according to court records. Police also found blood on Keith’s sock, shorts and tank top that matched Sheree, the records said.
Prosecutors said Keith was free on an appeals bond for a felony drunken-driving conviction at the time of the slaying. Police arrested him Tuesday at his job. He was in jail Wednesday night without bond.
Watson-Ferguson said his mother had scrapes with the law when she was younger and served several years in prison. But once she was released, she worked two jobs while attending college full-time, and she challenged her son and daughter to pursue their degrees.
Sheree earned a bachelor’s degree and two master’s degrees, and worked as a tutor, said Watson-Ferguson, 32, who is attending Park University. His 19-year-old sister is attending Northwest Missouri State University.
Watson-Ferguson said his mother married Keith about nine years ago, but the relationship was volatile. Sheree tried to shield her children from her problems with Keith, Watson-Ferguson said.
“But she had finally gotten up the strength to move on,” he said. “She was ready to end it, for sure.”
Watson-Ferguson expects to graduate in May. He wishes his mother could be there.
“I still don’t sleep much,” he said. “I lay there and think about how she passed away alone in the basement of her home. But then, I try to think of the good side — that she’s in heaven and she can’t be hurt anymore.”