Deion Sanders Gets Sole Conservatorship of Sons, Joint Conservatorship of Daughter

Deion Sanders gets sole conservatorship of sons, joint conservatorship with Pilar Sanders of daughter

By Kendra Lyn
|  Tuesday, Mar 12, 2013  |  Updated 11:36 PM CDT
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Deion and Pilar Sanders will have joint conservatorship of their daughter, but Deion Sanders will have sole conservatorship of their two sons.

Ray Villeda, NBC 5 News

Deion and Pilar Sanders will have joint conservatorship of their daughter, but Deion Sanders will have sole conservatorship of their two sons.

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Jurors have returned a verdict in the child custody battle between former Dallas Cowboy Deion Sanders and his estranged wife, Pilar Sanders.

The couple will have joint conservatorship of their daughter, but Deion Sanders will be the sole conservator of their two sons.

Conservators have the right to make decisions for the children, such as their primary residence, education and extracurricular activities.

However, the court will determine visitation rights.

It took about three hours for a Collin County jury to return with a decision in the custody trial involving the Sanders' three children.

The jury's verdict was not unanimous -- 11 of the 12 jurors signed off on the decision, which was reached in less than two hours.

By law, only 10 jurors are required to sign the verdict.

Photos and Videos

Deion Sanders Gets Custody of Sons, Shares Custody of Daughter

A North Texas jury has awarded Pro Football Hall of Famer Deion Sanders primary custody of his two sons by estranged wife, Pilar, pending the couple's divorce. The Collin County jury also awarded joint custody of their daughter, but the former Dallas Cowboys star can decide where she lives.

Sanders Custody Case Enters Final Round

Day six of the drama-filled child custody fight between Deion and Pilar Sanders could bring some closure on Tuesday.
More Photos and Videos

Deion Sanders was the final witness in the jury trial Tuesday. He didn't take the stand until after 9:30 a.m. after Pilar Sanders showed up to court a half hour late without explanation.

"I am who I am. I think I am a great dad. I think I'm father of the year," Deion Sanders said.

He testified Tuesday that he did not ask the children to fill out a police report against their mother or coach them on what to write after a fight with his estranged wife at their Prosper home in April 2012 in which she was arrested.

He said he was not trying to keep the children from their mother.

Pilar Sanders' attorneys argued that she is not allowed near Deion Sanders' home and said the children have to walk a long distance from the gates near the road up to the mansion.

"I believe the children need both parents. Just like it takes to parents to conceive, it takes two to continue raise. Hopefully, that will be possible," Pilar Sanders said.

Deion Sanders’ attorney Rick Robertson also gave some insight into the jury’s decision, after speaking with its twelve members directly.

“One of the comments they made was that they did not believe the allegations of abuse,” said Robertson. “That they were offended by cheap shots and grandstanding - and that was a comment some of the jurors made to us.”

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Robertson added that it is “unusual” for a custody decision to not go in the favor of a mother.

"I'm happy, I'm thankful, I'm elated, God is good, He's faithful, He's just, the truth prevailed," Deion Sanders said after the verdict was read.

"The entire case started in a prejudice manner," Pilar Sanders said, unhappy with the ruling. "We have a man who is laughing at the stand who storms out of your children's custody trial, I mean what is that teaching your boys?"

Pilar Sanders felt that valuable evidence was not used, mainly evidence to support her claims of physical abuse. A judge decided against using it in an earlier hearing.

"I go to the appellate court from here," Pilar Sanders said.

The Sanders children did not have to testify.

The judge in the case will now be in charge of setting up a possession schedule for the children.

Divorce drama extends for more than a year

Deion Sanders announced his split from Pilar Sanders on Facebook in December 2011.

Since then, both sides have argued over everything from the prenuptial agreement to alleged assaults and criminal mischief, child support payments and now child custody.

Deion Sanders has argued that the custody battle is all about money. Pilar Sanders has said the fight is about who is the more reliable parent.

Both parents say they want what is best for their children.

NBC 5's Ray Villeda, Catherine Ross and Randy McIlwain contributed to this report.

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