Meth could have played a role in the stabbing death of Johnny Cash's great niece, according to the Putnam County sheriff.
Sheriff David Andrews would not comment on the nature of the evidence that tied methamphetamine to Courtney Cash's murder.
"We live in a drug-driven society," Andrews said while discussing meth's link to the case. "That drives our crime."
Courtney Cash, 23, was found dead Wednesday inside a wooden chest in her Baxter, Tenn., home. Deputies arrested Wayne Masciarella soon afterward and charged him with first-degree murder.
Masciarella is also suspected of stabbing Cash's boyfriend William Austin Johnson. Andrews said Masciarella had gotten into a fight with Johnson and Cash at their home before stabbing them and fleeing.
The three are believed to be friends, the sheriff said. Witnesses had seen them together hours before the stabbing.
After the attack, Johnson drove himself to a hospital in Sparta along with his and Cash's 20-month-old daughter. The child was not injured.
Masciarella was booked without bond into the Putnam County Jail, where he awaits a preliminary hearing on April 21.
Andrews said the suspect had been previously arrested more than 20 times in Putnam County.
Courtney Cash was the granddaughter of Tommy Cash, the brother of the late Johnny Cash. In a statement, Tommy Cash asked for prayers and privacy for his family.
"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," the statement read. "We are completely heartbroken. It is a time like this that we are grateful for our faith and trusting the loving guidance of God."