Dangerous west Tenn. prison escapee back in custody

Escaped inmate, murder suspect captured

TENNESSEE (KFVS) - A West Tennessee inmate wanted on murder charges has been captured.

Curtis Ray Watson escaped the West Tennessee State Penitentiary in Henning on Wednesday, Aug. 7.

The TBI has secured warrants Watson for the following charges: first degree murder, especially aggravated burglary, aggravated sexual battery.

According to Tennessee Department of Corrections, Watson was taken into custody around 11 a.m. on Sunday, Aug. 11.

Officials said a total of 430 tips came in during their search.

He is being held in Tipton County, Tenn.

The total reward for information leading to the capture and conviction of Curtis Watson was at $57,500. The FBI and U.S. Marshal’s Service donated $10,000 each according to TBI. The Dept. of Corrections added $4,000 to the total on Saturday, Aug. 10.

Watson is accused of sexually assaulting and then strangling the female prison administrator, Debra Johnson, in her home on prison grounds Wednesday.

Our sister station in Tennessee has more information on Watson’s previous charges including a brutal crime against his wife.

On Thursday morning, Aug. 8 Tennessee Bureau of Investigations released new photos of Watson.

Officials said they released his previous mug shots in case he has altered his appearance.

Previous mug shots of Watson were released by TBI officials (Source; TBI)
Previous mug shots of Watson were released by TBI officials (Source; TBI) (Source: TBI)

He’s a person of interest in a homicide of a Tennessee Department of Correction employee, according to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigations.

Watson is described as a white male, 44, with brown hair and eyes. He’s 5′11″ and weighs 180 to 200 pounds.

WATCH: TBI updates the search for Curtis Watson.

Posted by Tennessee Bureau of Investigation on Thursday, August 8, 2019

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