Ugh, this is completely horrible. Courtney Cash, whose grandfather is Johnny Cash's brother, was stabbed to death in her home in Tennessee. The 23-year-old's body was found, as has been noted oh-so-delicately in headline after headline, "in a box" (a large chest next to the front door). Cash's boyfriend was also stabbed, but survived. The pair was reportedly attacked in front of their 20-month-old daughter, who was unharmed.
Wayne Gary Masciarella, who is in custody, is charged with first-degree murder, and more charges are expected, Sheriff David Andrews told CNN.
Masciarella apparently had gone out Tuesday night with Cash and her boyfriend, William Austin Johnson. The couple lived together, and when all three returned to the apartment early Wednesday, there was an altercation. Cash and Johnson were both stabbed, officials say.
Johnson managed to get away from the apartment and gave a statement to investigators at a local hospital.
Based on his statement, the sheriff said authorities arrested Masciarella within a couple of hours.
Investigators indicated that the attack—which occurred around 10:40 am—was likely "connected to drugs." I don't know which of these three adults were "connecting" with drugs that day, I don't know who was taking care of that baby all night, and I don't know who said what to whom in the hours before the stabbing, but let's say we imagine the worst case scenario on all fronts. EVEN THEN, the punishment for drug use is not death, the punishment for addiction is not death, the punishment for child neglect is not death, and the punishment for "having a falling out" with your friend while "connected to drugs" is not death. I know people love to moralize about drugs, but this is a ghastly, brutal tragedy for the victims and their families regardless of the circumstances.
Cash's grandfather, Tommy Cash, released a statement:
'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 grand-daughter, pray for the father of my great-grand child and journey through the search for justice on this violent act.
'We are completely heartbroken. It is a time like this that we are grateful for our faith and trusting the loving guidance of God.'
Not that there's any "good" coming out of this story, but at least that little girl didn't lose both of her parents. Best of luck to the family.
Images via Facebook.