New details emerge on the shocking double homicide involving Opry legend’s family AP Photo/Josh Anderson
AP Photo/Josh Anderson

New details have emerged in the double homicide at the Hendersonville, Tennessee home of the late Grand Ole Opry legend Jean Shepard in the early morning hours of December 17.

According to The Tennessean, Icey Sloan-Hawkins, 18, died after being stabbed by her former boyfriend, Travis Sanders, 21.

Hawkins’ grandfather, Benny Birchfield, shot and killed Sanders trying to protect his granddaughter. Birchfield was stabbed and had surgery at the hospital after the incident. He only discovered his granddaughter had died when he woke up from surgery.

Birchfield, 79, was married to Jean Shepard, who died in September.

RELATED: Shocking act of violence takes family member of late Opry legend

Hawkins moved to the home to care for Shepard in the last few months of her life.

Hawkins’ mother, Velvet Sloan, told The Tennessean that Hawkins and Sanders started dating earlier this year, but recently broke up after Sanders stole money from her. He also broke her phone.

RELATED: We’ve lost one of the grand ladies of the Grand Ole Opry

Hendersonville police have not confirmed what happened, nor do they know if any charges will be sought in the case. Birchfield was released from the hospital on December 19.

Bob Adams, who is engaged to Velvet Sloan, said, “It’s just such a shame. She was a wonderful girl and a wonderful person, and for this to happen to her, it could happen to anybody.”

Tricia Despres is the contributing editor for Rare Country, based out of Chicago, Illinois. Join the conversation on Twitter at @RareCountry. We would love to see y’all there.
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