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Woman speaks about why she accused father of murder on Dr. Phil

An East Tennessee woman said the reason she appeared on the Dr. Phil show Monday was because she was scared for her life.
Shannon Hercutt with her niece, Shasta.

ID=22816487ID=13551359(WBIR-Sevier County) An East Tennessee woman said the reason she appeared on the Dr. Phil show Monday was because she was scared for her life.

Penny Lane Stephens accused her father, Ted Hercutt, of hiring someone to murder her sister.

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

Shannon Hercutt was killed in August of 2009 in what was first thought to be a car crash. An autopsy later revealed she was murdered.

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

"I have to get justice for my sister," Penny Stephens said. "I knew my mom and sister were with me on that stage and was pushing me to finally come out of my shell."

Stephens said she needed to tell her father in front of the world what she believes he did to her sister.

"After five years and spilling out everything I know, have seen, and lived through my entire life; I just felt like that was my last hope," she said.

Penny accused Hercutt on the Dr. Phil Show of hiring someone to kill her sister, Shannon, so that he could get her rental cabin business in Pigeon Forge.

"I don't know where you are getting your story," Ted Hercutt said on the show. "I've been cleared by the Sheriff's Department."

"He was not expecting me to spill the beans on him and go to Dr. Phil and do it national," Stephens explained. "A lot of people don't understand why I didn't do this a long time ago but I had to protect myself."

Hercutt asked Stephens in front of a nationwide audience: "Why would I kill you when I love you? I still love you."

She screamed back, "You do not love me!"

Hercutt's ex-wife, Jan, joined Penny on the Dr. Phil show claiming he actually reenacted the crime scene for her.

She said it was something she needed to do to expose who he really was.

"Since we have gone to Dr. Phil, I feel like I can finally breathe. I don't cry anymore. I feel like I can finally get on with my life," she said.

But Penny feels the opposite.

Since the show was recorded, court records show Hercutt filed an order of protection against her.

In the documents he wrote "he fears for his life".

Penny said she feels the same but won't stop talking until justice is served for her sister.

"Who knows what my poor mom and my sister took to their grave about him," Stephens said. "I'm not going to do it. If I go to my grave, I am letting it all out first."

Stephens said she hopes bringing the story national attention will push law enforcement to investigate her suspicions.

Sevier County Sheriff Ron Seals told 10News he watched the Dr. Phil episode and the case is still under investigation.

We reached out to Ted Hercutt for this story but were unable to reach him.

He faces no charges in relation to his daughter's death and on the show, he denied any involvement.

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