Country singer Jean Shepard’s granddaughter killed, husband hurt in stabbing

HENDERSONVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The granddaughter of late country singer Jean Shepard was killed a Hendersonville stabbing early Sunday morning, and her husband was injured.

When authorities arrived to Shepard’s home on Elenora Court around 3 a.m., Shepard’s husband Benny Birchfield reported he had been stabbed.

The 79-year-old was taken to the hospital and has since undergone surgery. He is expected to be okay.

Photo: WKRN
Photo: WKRN

The couple’s 18-year-old granddaughter, Icie Hawkins, was found dead inside, along with 21-year-old Travis Sanders, who died from a gunshot wound.

Police told News 2 Hawkins lived with her grandfather and she and Sanders knew each other.

Authorities have not released a motive but did say it was an isolated incident and the community is not in danger.

News 2 spoke with neighbor Michael Gay who called Birchfield “a great guy.”

“He kind of told me a little about himself, but mainly the past couple months, since his wife passed, we tried to do what we could to help with food or whatever to let him know we are here to help,” Gay said.

Jean Shephard died at the age of 82 in late September. Shephard released more than 70 singles over the course of her career and at the time of her death, was the longest serving female member in Opry history.

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