Putnam County Sheriff's official reported on Thursday, March 20, 2014 that a woman a woman found stabbed to death, hidden inside a cedar box in her Tennessee home, as 23 year old Courtney Cash. Courtney was the great-niece of country music legend Johnny Cash, and Johnny Cash's brother, musician Tommy Cash, is Courtney Cash's grandfather.
Courtney was killed Wednesday morning with a kitchen knife, according to Putnam County Sheriff's Detective David Gibbons. Her death occurred in the town of Baxter, about 70 miles east of Nashville, according to Gibbons and was the result of an "altercation among three friends."
Wayne Gary Masciarella a friend of Courtney’s went out with Courtney and her boyfriend, William Austin Johnson. The couple lived together and when all 3 returned to the residence, there was a fight. Courtney Cash and Johnson were both stabbed. Johnson managed to get away from the apartment giving a statement to investigators at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville.. William Austin Johnson, 23, had fled the scene with the couple's infant daughter and is expected to recover.
Cash's boyfriend, 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. Masciarella, who is in custody, has been charged with first-degree murder and more to be expected.
CNN has published a video, which has been blocked from embedding, but can be found here on CNN Justice.
Cash's grandfather, Tommy Cash, who is Johnny Cash's brother, said on Facebook: "We ask for your prayers for the Cash family at this time. Courtney and her boyfriend are beloved members of my family, and like you, we have a lot of questions and emotions that we are beginning to sort through today. "
On Friday, March 21, 2014, Tommy Cash of the Cash family made a public statement in regards to the tragedy:
“We ask for your prayers for the Cash family at this time. Courtney and her boyfriend are beloved members of my family and like you we have a lot of questions and emotions that we are beginning to sort through today. We ask for you to respect our privacy and appreciate all the support that the public and media has always offered my family, as we handle the loss of my grand-daughter, pray for the father of my great-grand child and journey through the search for justice on this violent act. We are completely heartbroken. It is a time like this that we are grateful for our faith and trusting the loving guidance of God.”
Our condolences and prayers go out to the Cash family.