Man Pleads Guilty to Killing Johnny Cash’s Great Niece Courtney Cash
Wayne Masciarella has pleaded guilty to the murder of Johnny Cash's great niece, Courtney Cash, as well as to the stabbing of her boyfriend, William Austin Johnson. The Cape May, N.J., resident was charged with first-degree murder in 2014 and entered his plea on Tuesday (Sept. 13).
Courtney Cash, the granddaughter of Johnny Cash's brother Tommy Cash, was found dead at her home in Putnam County, Tenn., near Nashville, on March 19, 2014. The 23-year-old's body was hidden inside a wooden box following her fatal stabbing.
According to former Putnam Country Sheriff David Andrews, Cash, Johnson and Masciarella got into a dispute at Cash and Johnson's home before Masciarella allegedly stabbed both of them and fled; prior to the incident, the three had been friends. Johnson was treated for multiple stab wounds, but his daughter, who was also in the home at the time of the incident, sustained no injuries. Masciarella was quickly arrested following the stabbings and held for the murder of Cash, although it would take more than two years for his official plea to be accepted.
Current Putnam County Sheriff Eddie Farris released a statement on Sept. 13, expressing satisfaction with the case's resolution: "The Putnam County Sheriff’s Office has received undue criticism about this investigation," he writes (quote via the Tennessean). "I’m sure some things could have been done differently, but at the end of the day, we would still be where we are now. Wayne Masciarella said from the very beginning of this investigation that he stabbed Courtney Cash. Wayne Masciarella is again taking responsibility for the death of Courtney Cash by entering this plea of guilt. I am glad that we can put this behind us and move forward without delaying justice any further."
Tommy Cash has released a statement asking for prayers and privacy for his family at this time.
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