Jean Shepard’s Widower Injured During Fatal Stabbing
Benny Birchfield, the widower of country artist Jean Shepard, was injured during a fatal stabbing that took place outside of Nashville on Saturday (Dec. 17).
Birchfield, 79, was injured during a stabbing that took place at his home on Elnora Court in Hendersonville, Tenn., the Tennessean and WKRN report; according to Hendersonville Police Department Sgt. Jim Vaughn, authorities received a phone call about the incident at about 3AM on Saturday morning.
Inside at the scene of the stabbing, police discovered the deceased body of Travis Sanders, 21, whom WKRN reports died of a gunshot wound, as well as Birchfield's granddaughter, Icie Hawkins, 18, who was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead. When police arrived at the scene, they found Birchfield injured and wandering in the yard; he has since undergone surgery, and his condition is reportedly improving.
Although Sgt. Vaughn did not name Birchfield as the injured man, WKRN confirmed his identity, and the address to which police responded matches that of Birchfield. Hakwins lived with her grandfather, and she and Sanders knew each other, police explain, though they are still investigating and do not yet have a motive for the crime; however, authorities say that it was an isolated incident, and the public is not in any danger.
Shepard passed away in September at the age of 82. She and Birchfield -- a musician himself, who worked with the Osborne Brothers and Roy Orbison -- had been married since 1968.
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