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Woman stabbed to death, stuffed into box was legend Johnny Cash’s niece

courtney cash21n-1-web

A young Tennessee woman who was found stabbed to death and stuffed into a box has been identified as the great-niece of legendary musician Johnny Cash.

Courtney Cash was discovered Wednesday in a 4-foot-by-2-foot deep box near the door of her Putnam County home, about 80 miles east of Nashville, according to authorities.

Cash and the father of her baby, William Austin Johnson, are believed to have been stabbed multiple times by a mutual friend they had invited to their home the night before.

During the violent struggle, Johnson was able to escape with their 20-month-old little girl, who somehow escaped without being injured.

“Based on what I’ve been told about his wounds, he’s a pretty strong man,” said Sheriff David Andrews, according to WSNV.

Music legend Johnny Cash
Music legend Johnny Cash

“He grabbed the baby and exited the house and got in a car and drove himself to the hospital,” said Andrews. “He was in pretty bad shape but we’ve been told he is stable.”

The “friend” that the couple invited into the home, Wayne Gary Masciarella, 27, was charged with first-degree murder in Cash’s death.

Andrews has said that the deadly encounter may have been inspired by drugs.

In a statement released by Tommy Cash, the late singer’s younger brother, he asked for both privacy and prayers “through the search for justice on this violent act.”

“We are completely heartbroken,” he said in part. “It is a time like this that we are grateful for our faith and trusting the loving guidance of God.”

Masciarella is being held without bond. He has a court date scheduled for April 21.

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