Boyfriend of murder victim told to stay away at burial

Boyfriend of murder victim told to stay away at burial (Image 1)

It was an emotional scene in Putnam County Wednesday as family and friends said goodbye to the great niece of country music legend Johnny Cash.  

It was also emotional for Courtney Cash's boyfriend, Austin Johnson, who was reportedly told he couldn't attend her burial.

Cash, 23, was stabbed to death and stuffed in a box in a brutal attack at her Baxter, Tenn. home last Wednesday, March 19.

Johnson was also stabbed but managed to escape with the couple's young daughter.

Johnson attended Cash's funeral at Crest Lawn Funeral Home in Cookeville Wednesday but was then reportedly told to leave.

In an exclusive interview following the funeral, Johnson's mother told News 2 Cash's murder has driven a wedge between the families.

Tina Johnson described her son as distraught after learning the Cash family would only allow him and his family to attend Courtney's funeral not her burial.

Cookeville police even responded to the funeral home at the request of managers.

“He was so upset because police are just asking us to leave,” Tina Johnson told News 2.

“None of us want to go to jail. It's not what this is about today,” she continued, adding, “We're being [the bigger people] here and we're leaving.”

Wayne Masciarella, a friend of the couple, is charged with the crime.  He pleaded not guilty during a hearing Wednesday morning.

A motive for the attack has not been released, although police have said the trio had been out together prior to Cash's murder.

The Cash family asked for privacy immediately after the stabbing last week and declined to talk Wednesday.

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