Tennessee police find Johnny Cash’s great-niece stabbed to death in wooden box

By Reuters
Friday, March 21, 2014 11:43 EDT
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[Image via Heinrich Klaffs, Creative Commons licensed]
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By Tim Ghianni

NASHVILLE, Tenn (Reuters) – A woman found stabbed to death inside a wooden box in her Tennessee home has been identified as the great-niece of country music legend Johnny Cash, authorities said on Thursday.

Courtney Cash, 23, was killed Wednesday morning with a kitchen knife, according to Putnam County Sheriff’s Detective David Gibbons. Gibbons said the killing in the town of Baxter, about 70 miles east of Nashville, was the result of an “altercation among three friends.”

Cash’s boyfriend, William Austin Johnson, 23, who also was stabbed, fled the scene with the couple’s infant daughter and is expected to recover.

Wayne Gary Masciarella, 26, of Cookeville was arrested at about midnight Wednesday and charged with first-degree murder. He is being held without bond. Putnam County Sheriff David Andrews said the murder may have been drug-related, and more charges are expected.

Johnny Cash’s brother, musician Tommy Cash, is Courtney Cash’s grandfather.

(Reporting by Tim Ghianni; Editing by Mary Wisniewski and Grant McCool)

[Image via Heinrich Klaffs, Creative Commons licensed]

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