Jean Shepard’s Husband Benny Birchfield Stabbed in Bizarre Double Killing


This story has been updated.

The husband of the late Jean Shepard is recovering in the hospital Sunday evening after being stabbed at the home he shared with the country legend in Hendersonville, Tennessee, while the granddaughter of Jean Shepard and Hawkshaw Hawkins is dead. 79-year-old Benny Birchfield was found by police in his front yard, suffering from a stab wound at 3 a.m. Saturday (12-17) morning. Police had received a phone call about a stabbing in the 200 block of Elnora Court in Hendersonville. Inside the house, police found another individual stabbed who later died at the hospital, and another that was dead of a gunshot wound.

18-year-old Icie Hawkins was the stabbing victim. Icie Hawkins is the daughter of Don Hawkins, one of two children Jean Shepard had with her first husband, Hawkshaw Hawkins. Icie was living with Birchfield in the home at the time. The other deceased individual, 21-year-old Travis Sanders, did not live there. He was shot with a .38-calibre pistol. According Sgt. Jim Vaughn of the Hendersonville Police Department, after speaking with Birchfield at the hospital and examining the crime scene, they believe the incident “was contained at the house,” and they were not looking for any suspects, and the public was not thought to be in danger.

The conclusion by Hendersonville police only leaves a few scenarios possible, including that 21-year-old Travis Sanders killed himself, but that has not been confirmed by police. Everybody in the Hendersonville home was positively identified, though police have not released Benny Birchfield’s name officially. However, they are calling him a 79-year-old man, and Birchfield did reside at the house where the incident occurred.

Benny Birchfield underwent surgery at a local hospital, and his condition is said to be improving. Known throughout the country music community himself, Birchfield is a musician who once performed with Roy Orbison and the Osborne Brothers. He also worked with the Osborne Brothers as their tour manager and bus driver for many years. Jean Shepard passed away in September at the age of 82.

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