The Daily Caller

The Daily Caller
Johnny Cash (Reuters) Johnny Cash (Reuters)  

Johnny Cash’s great-niece found dead inside wooden box

Courtney Cash, the great-niece of country singer Johnny Cash, was found stabbed to death inside a wooden box on Thursday by Tennessee authorities.

Cash, 23, was killed Wednesday morning with a kitchen knife during a “struggle,” according to Putnam Country Sheriff David Andrews, the AP reports.

William Austin Johnson, 23, Cash’s boyfriend, was being treated for stab wounds at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Andrews said.

Cash’s body was found in a chest just inside a home near Cookeville, Tennessee, according to Andrews. The couple had gone out with a friend before a fight took place in the house. Johnson fled the scene with the couple’s daughter and is expected to recover.

According to Andrews, Cash’s death was the result of an “altercation among three friends.” The friend, identified as Wayne Gary Masciarella, 26, was arrested Wednesday night and charged with first-degree murder. Andrews said the murder may have been drug-related.

The scene inside the house was “somewhat bloody,” 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,” Andrews said.

Johnny Cash’s brother, Tommy Cash, released a statement after the loss of his granddaughter.

“We are completely heartbroken,” he said.

Masciarella has a court date scheduled for April 21.