Cash family hears gut-wrenching testimony - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Cash family hears gut-wrenching testimony

William Johnson testifies William Johnson testifies
COOKEVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

The extended family of a country music "royalty" was in court today to hear a frightening story of torture and murder.

The great niece of Johnny Cash, Courtney Cash, was found brutally murdered inside her Putnam County home in March.

Her boyfriend survived, and shared some gut-wrenching testimony on Wednesday.

Cash's boyfriend, William Johnson, had a courtroom full of people in tears.

He shared shocking details about being tortured and held hostage for days.

Then he described holding his girlfriend in his arms as she spoke her final words.

Johnson said he did everything he could to save Cash.

"She looked up at me and I tried giving her CPR," said Johnson.

When he couldn't, he said he saved their 1-year-old baby instead.

But before that, Johnson said they were trapped for days inside Cash's Putnam County home with a man who was strung out and out of control.

According to Johnson, Wayne Masciarella, was Cash's friend. He came over to hang out.

Johnson said he and Cash woke up with Masciarella on top of them, knife in hand and that he stabbed them several times.

Johnson said Masciarella accused them of poisoning him, then he injected them with drugs saying "if I'm going to die then you are too."

"He was just pacing back and forth. Just pacing," said Johnson.  

Masciarella's defense attorney Douglas Dennis told a very different story.

Johnson said he and Cash weren't doing drugs with Masciarella. Dennis doesn't believe that's the case.

Dennis claimed Cash died from a not life-threatening wound that wasn't treated.

He said they were avoiding the hospital because they didn't want DCS to take their child.

"If I know that he has had his child taken away and it was because of drugs. That's relevant," Dennis said to a judge. 

Dennis also questions why Johnson went to his father's house first instead of going to police.

Copyright 2014 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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