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Johnny Cash's Great-Niece Murdered in Tennessee Home

Image courtesy of JohnnyCash.com (via ABC News Radio)
Image courtesy of JohnnyCash.com (via ABC News Radio)

Johnny Cash 's great-niece was found stabbed to death and stuffed in a box Wednesday in Baxter, TN, 100 miles east Nashville. According to Nashville ABC affiliate WKRN , Courtney Cash was killed in an altercation early Wednesday morning. Her boyfriend, Austin Johnson , managed to escape and drive himself to the hospital. He has been transported to Vanderbilt University Medical Center. The couple's young daughter was in the home at the time of the attack, but she was uninjured.

Wayne Gary Masciarella has been charged with first degree murder and is now in custody.

Tommy Cash , Johnny Cash's youngest brother, released a statement on behalf of the family saying they are "completely heartbroken."

He says, "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. We ask for you to respect our privacy and appreciate all the support that the public and media has always offered my family, as we handle the loss of my granddaughter, pray for the father of my great grandchild and journey through the search for justice on this violent act. "

The statement continues, "It is a time like this that we are grateful for our faith and trusting the loving guidance of God."

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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