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18-year-old granddaughter of country music star Jean Shepard murdered

December 20, 2016  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
18-year-old granddaughter of country music star Jean Shepard murdered

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A shocking murder that transpired in Tennessee over the weekend which left the granddaughter of country music singer Jean Shepard dead and the late country superstar’s husband gravely wounded.

The incident took place at approximately 3 am on Saturday at the Hendersonville home of 79-year-old Benny Birchfield, who was married to Jean Shepard for almost 50 years before she died at the age of 82 from Parkinson’s disease in September.

Birchfield was found outside of his home, stabbed multiple times when police arrived.

Inside the residence, Shepard’s 18-year-old granddaughter Icie Hawkins was also discovered with multiple stab wounds and was raced to a local hospital. However, she later succumbed to her injuries.

According to the Daily Mail, 21-year-old Travis Sanders was found inside dead from a gunshot wound.

Hawkins (left with her grandmother in the 90s and right earlier this year), 18, was found with multiple stab wounds at the home of Shepard’s second husband, Benny Birchfield

Jim Vaughn, a sergeant in the Hendersonville Police Department, said that Hawkins was living with Birchfield.

He also noted that authorities were not searching for a suspect and called the incident a “contained situation,” stating: “Everybody who was there was identified.”

Officials are planning to release additional information about the case once autopsies have been conducted.

Birchfield is slowly recovering after undergoing surgery and has spoken with authorities, who have yet to determine the motive for the killing spree.

According to his Facebook page, Sanders and Hawkins were in a relationship since May.

Hawkins did not mention Sanders as her boyfriend on her Facebook page, and just days before her killing, she posted on her page that stated: “I respect a man who is vocal. Tell me why you’re into me. Tell me why I pissed you off & tell me how can I fix it. Tell me everything. Talk.”

Police are not searching for a suspect and called the incident a ‘contained situation,’ noting that ‘everybody who was there was identified’ (Birchfield’s home above)

Velvet Sloan, the victim’s mother, also posted on Facebook just after the killing of her teen daughter.

“It is with unbearable sadness and pain that we announce the untimely passing of our daughter Icie Mae Sloan-Hawkins on Saturday morning,” the post wrote.

The post added: “The circumstances of her passing are still under investigation so, at this time, we ask that you respect the privacy of both families. Final arrangements are being made and, once completed, will be announced in the days ahead.”

Donna Wells, Hawkins’ aunt, also wrote on her Facebook page, in a message that stated: “I hope he’s burning in hell.”

Donnie, the victim’s father, was one of two of Shepard’s children while she was married to Hawkshaw Hawkins, her first husband.

Jean Shepard, who was better known as “the grand lady of the Grand Ole Opry,” joined the legendary lineup in 1955.

Shepard was initiated into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2011.

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