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Woman goes on Dr. Phil, claims her father killed her sister

Shannon Hercutt of Sevier Co. was murdered in 2009. On the Dr. Phil show, her sister accused her father with having Shannon killed.
Shannon Hercutt with her niece, Shasta.

The sister of an East Tennessee woman who was murdered in 2009 accused their father of the killing on national television.

Previous: 5 years later: Sevier Co. woman's murder still unsolved

The family of Shannon Hercutt taped an appearance on the Dr. Phil show on Jan. 26; the episode aired Monday afternoon on WBIR, Channel 10.

Hercutt was killed in August 2009. Investigators first thought she died in a vehicle crash, but an autopsy later revealed she was killed at home, put in her SUV, then sent down a steep drop in the Fox Run Resort area in Sevierville.

No arrests have been made in Hercutt's death.

On the Dr. Phil show, Hercutt's sister, Penny Lane Stephens, accused their father, Ted Hercutt, of hiring someone to murder Hercutt. She said she had not seen him in two years.

"I know you have paid someone to kill Shannon. Don't sit there and act like you're so innocent," Stephens said to her father.

Investigators have not revealed any information that links Hercutt's father to the murder. Dr. Phil also repeatedly said he had not heard of any evidence to back the accusations.

Stephens said her sister and father were fighting at the time of her death, and she claimed he killed Hercutt to get her business.

The 40-year-old owned Autie Belham's Realty and Nightly Rentals in Pigeon Forge. Originally, Ted Hercutt was listed in Hercutt's will; three years later in 2006, she took him out of it.

Ted Hercutt denied knowing anything about Hercutt's will. But Stephens said her father was furious after finding out his name was not listed.

Ted Hercutt responded, "Shannon told me, 'Dad, I want to put you half on my business.' I said, 'No, Shannon I don't want that.'"

Dr. Phil noticed Stephens becoming upset and asked, "Why is it upsetting for you to hear this?" to which Stephens replied, "It's all lies. It's all lies."

Stephens called her dad a "pathological liar" and said she's in fear for her own life now.

Ted Hercutt, who Dr. Phil said was not aware that Stephens was going to accuse him of Hercutt's murder on the show, denied any involvement in the murder and called Stephens a "liar."

He said he was "not involved" and "would not kill his daughter."

Ted Hercutt admitted to being a suspect in Hercutt's death, but said he'd been questioned and cleared by investigators.

10News reached out to the Sevier County Sheriff's Office and Pigeon Forge Police Department. Both declined to comment.

Sheriff Ron Seals told 10News he did watch the Dr. Phil episode and that the case is still under investigation.

There is a $45,000 reward for anyone who has information leading to the arrest and conviction of a person or persons involved in Hercutt's murder.

Anyone with information should contact the sheriff's office at 865-453-4668.

You can watch the entire show here.

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