published Thursday, July 17th, 2014

Man pleads not guilty to killing Johnny Cash's niece, stuffing body in box

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. — A Tennessee man has pleaded not guilty to killing country music legend Johnny Cash's great-niece in March.

The Herald-Citizen reported that 27-year-old Wayne Gary Masciarella entered the plea during a criminal court appearance in Putnam County on Wednesday. He's charged with murder in the death of 23-year-old Courtney Jean Cash.

Masciarella also faces charges of attempted first degree murder, especially aggravated kidnapping, abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence.

Police say Masciarella stabbed Cash to death after getting into an argument with her and her boyfriend, William Austin Johnson.

Cash's body was found March 19 inside a wooden box at her home in Baxter. Johnson also suffered stab wounds.

Deputy District Attorney Tony Craighead says prosecutors don't foresee additional charges against other people "as of this time."

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