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The judge hearing the murder case of Johnny Cash’s great-niece has recused himself. WKRN reports that Judge Gary McKenzie said he was a prosecutor in the district attorney's office and had knowledge of the case prior to being elected judge. He said while that alone would not have disqualified him from trying the case, it could have caused a conflict. The case has been turned over to Judge David Patterson. Wayne Masciarella is the man accused of killing Courtney Cash and stabbing her boyfriend earlier this year. Courtney Cash was found stuffed into a box on March 19 at a home in Baxter, Tennessee. Cash's boyfriend, Austin Johnson, was also injured during the attack, but was able to escape with the couple's young daughter, who was unharmed. Masciarella faces a charge of first degree murder. According to WKRN, he is being held in the Putnam County jail without bond.
Motorists continue enjoying the lowest gas prices in four years. The shale boom has helped boost domestic oil supply to the highest level in three decades, which has helped put downward pressure on oil and gasoline prices. AAA, the Auto Club Group, reports that, as of Sunday, the national average price for a gallon of regular had dropped for 52 consecutive days. That price is currently $2.89 a gallon, down four cents from the week before. The statewide average for regular in Tennessee is $2.66 a gallon, third-cheapest in the country and down by four cents. And the numbers are the same in Corsicana, the average is $2.66, down four cents a gallon.
A former reality TV star has been sentenced to serve three months in prison after he pleaded guilty to an extortion scheme. Adam Winters, 25, of Oneida, (Oh-Nye-Duh) admitted in July that he tried to extort $2.5 million from Babcock and Wilcox, which manages and operates the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge. Winters is accused of sending an email demanding $2.5 million in exchange for hundreds of slides containing evidence; from testing the bombs to documentation on how much radiation was used on animals and contamination of plants. Winters met with undercover law enforcement agents in May to exchange the slides and was arrested. He appeared on Bravo’s “Millionaire Matchmaker” in February. .(Photo Courtesy WVLT)
Tennessee has suspended A.J. Johnson and Michael Williams from all team related activities. The move was announced Monday afternoon. According to VolQuest.com, the suspensions are as a result of an ongoing police investigation into an alleged sexual assault. No charges have been filed but once the investigation is complete police will submit their reports to the district attorney who will decide if charges should be filed.(Photo Courtesy WVLT)
Over the weekend the Vols beat the Kentucky Wildcats by 34 points but that's not what is making the biggest headlines. Instead it's the Vols dog mascot Smokey. Saturday’s game was very chilly and Smokey sat on the sideline wrapped in an orange blanket to keep warm. It was shown on TV and soon pictures of Smokey were all over the internet not only wrapped in the blanket but in different pictures. One picture shows him at a sleepover with some of the Saturday Night Live comedians; while another has him standing in an iconic scene from Star Wars. The fun continued on the sidelines as a Davy Crockett hat was put on Smokey's head to make sure he was extra warm. (Photo Courtesy WVLT)