Courtney Cash, grandniece of Johnny Cash, found dead in a box

Wayne Gary Masciarella

Wayne Gary Masciarella

(CNN) — Courtney Cash, the grandniece of musician Johnny Cash, was found dead in a box in her home in Tennessee, and a friend is charged in her death, according to Putnam County sheriff’s officials.

Wayne Gary Masciarella, who is in custody, is charged with first-degree murder, and more charges are expected, Sheriff David Andrews told CNN.

Masciarella apparently had gone out Tuesday night with Cash and her boyfriend, William Austin Johnson. The couple lived together, and when all three returned to the apartment early Wednesday, there was an altercation. Cash and Johnson were both stabbed, officials say.

Johnson managed to get away from the apartment and gave a statement to investigators at a local hospital.

Based on his statement, the sheriff said authorities arrested Masciarella within a couple of hours.

Johnson remains hospitalized at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville.

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. “

By Suzanne Presto and Susanna Capelouto

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1 Comment

  • Christal

    My prayers go out to the Cash family. I was a big fan of Johnny Cash. My heart goes out to this family that justice will be done. I pray he gets life in prison and even that doesn’t bring the innocent beautiful girl back. He will have his judgement upon the eyes of our God. Prayers to you all and may God comfort you in this time of sorrow.