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Relative of Johnny Cash Found Dead in Tennessee

WSMV Channel 4

(Taste of Country) – Courtney Cash, great-niece of the legendary Johnny Cash, was killed on Wednesday (March 19) when apparently a fight between friends turned sour.

The victim, 23, was found dead inside a box at a residence in Putnam County, a rural area in Tennessee, Fox 17 reports. Cash’s boyfriend, William Austin Johnson, suffered a stab wound at the scene. He’s currently at Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville in stable condition. Their child, who is around two years old, was also found at the residence.

This tragedy came onto police radar on Wednesday at approximately 10:40AM local time, when a 911 call was placed. The cell phone’s ping location brought officers to the wrong address, but after another call 30 minutes later, they were able to find the correct location.

Sheriff David Andrews says Courtney Cash was found just inside the front door in something which was “like a cedar chest, only it was not cedar.” He believes the young woman and Johnson invited their friend, Wayne Gary Masciarella, 27, to come over and hang out, which is when an altercation ensued, according to WSMV.

Masciarella was taken into custody in Cookeville, Tenn. and is being held without bond on a first-degree murder charge. His next court date is April 21. Sheriff Andrews says the suspect has 20 previous charges with his department.

“It appears there was an altercation, but to what extent … I’m not free to go into that right now, but there was certainly some kind of altercation,” Andrews reveals. After the incident, it appears Johnson grabbed the couple’s child and ran, calling for emergency services.

Tommy Cash, the victim’s grandfather and younger brother of the late Johnny Cash, released the following statement regarding the devastating incident, asking for prayers:

“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.”

Officials have concluded that Courtney Cash’s cause of death was the stab wounds she suffered.

Read More: Relative of Johnny Cash Found Dead in Tennessee

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Melissa Lambrecht