Sad news out of Tennessee: The Associated Press reports that Johnny Cash’s great-niece, Courtney Cash, was found stabbed to death yesterday morning and stuffed into a box at her Cookeville home, just 70 miles east of Nashville. Her friend Wayne Gary Masciarella has been charged with first-degree murder and is being held without bond. Cash wasn’t the only victim of the incident; her boyfriend, William Austin Johnson, is also being treated for multiple stab wounds at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
While details are scant, police believe that a fight broke out at the couple’s home after the three returned home from an evening out. “There was a struggle,” Putnam County sheriff David Andrews said. “This is a senseless, tragic death of a young lady whose life was probably taken as a direct or indirect result of drugs.”
Courtney Cash was the grand-daugther of Johnny Cash’s brother, Tommy Cash and cousin of singer-songwriter Rosanne Cash. In a heartfelt statement, Tommy Cash said “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.”