Escaped Tennessee Inmate Accused of Killing Prison Employee Captured

Escaped Tennessee Inmate Accused of Killing Prison Employee Captured

An inmate who escaped a Tennessee prison is a person of interest in a prison employee's murder and is now armed and unsafe, the Tennnessee Bureau of Investigations said Wednesday.

Watson was apprehended at 11 a.m.in Henning, where the West Tennessee State Penitentiary he escaped from on Wednesday is located, the department said in a statement.

Henning is about 45 miles northeast of Memphis.

State officials say her body was found inside her house at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday.

Authorities are on the hunt for a risky inmate who broke out of a Tennessee prison on his birthday Wednesday - and may have killed a state Department of Corrections employee.


Curtis Ray Watson, who was serving a 15-year sentence for especially aggravated kidnapping, was discovered missing when officials put the facility on lockdown and conducted a check of inmates.

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The TBI had secured warrants for Watson on charges of first-degree murder, aggravated burglary and aggravated sexual battery.

TBI has shifted personnel from other parts of Tennessee to work on the manhunt, Rausch said.

Johnson had worked as a West Tennessee Correctional Administrator for the Tennessee Department of Correction and had a 38-year history as a state employee.


Director Rausch: We ask the public to remain vigilant in this search for Curtis Watson.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation released several images of Watson, 44, Thursday, fearing he may have altered his image since breaking out from the West Tennessee State Penitentiary on Wednesday.

TBI is involved in both the search for Watson and the investigation into Johnson's homicide. TBI shared the following previous mug shots of Watson to give people in the area an idea of what he might look like if he shaved his facial hair or tried to change his appearance. The tractor, said TBI spokesman Josh DeVine, was recovered a mile away.

"She was very well regarded with staff and inmate population", Tony Parker, commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Corrections, said at the press conference Thursday.

A $57,000 reward for his capture is being offered. His sentence began in 2013 and was set to expire in 2025. He had previously been jailed for a child abuse conviction and was released in 2011.


"He is risky. If you see him call 911 immediately".

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