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Man Pleads Not Guilty In Putnam Co. Woman's Murder

Man Pleads Not Guilty In Putnam Co. Woman's Murder

CREATED Mar 26, 2014

PUTNAM COUNTY, Tenn. – A man accused of stabbing Johnny Cash's great-niece to death in Putnam County has pleaded not guilty.

Wayne Masciarella entered the plea Wednesday morning during his arraignment on a charge of first degree murder in a Putnam County courtroom. A bond hearing was scheduled for April 2.

Police said the 27-year-old stabbed Courtney Cash to death at the home she shared with her boyfriend and their young daughter in Baxter on March 19, and then stuffed her body into a wooden chest.

Cash was the granddaughter of Tommy Cash, Johnny Cash's brother.

Cash's boyfriend, Austin Johnson, was also seriously hurt, but managed to escape with their young daughter. He was taken to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville for treatment. Their daughter was not hurt.

Investigators said the couple and Masciarella had gone out the night before the crime, and went back to the couple's home where a struggle ensued.

Putnam County Sheriff David Andrews said last week that the crime could be tied to drugs, but did not elaborate.

Authorities said additional charges were possible against Masciarella.

Meanwhile, Cash was laid to rest Wednesday. Funeral services for the young mother were held at 11 a.m. the Crest Lawn Funeral Home in Cookeville. Cars with "Fly High Courtney" written on them were seen outside the funeral home.

The family asked that donations be made to the couple's daughter through Cameryn Cash's Educational Fund at Bank of America, account No. 444016583559.

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