Violent Tennessee escapee captured ending five-day manhunt

Published 2:35 pm Sunday, August 11, 2019

Tennessee law enforcement officials announced Sunday morning the capture of an escaped inmate that had been on the run for five days and is suspected of killing a state corrections administrator shortly after his escape.

The manhunt for 44-year-old Curtis Ray Watson when law enforcement officials captured him just hours after a resident spotted the escapee on a home security camera.

An affidavit says Watson was discovered missing about 11 a.m. Wednesday, several hours after being seen near the house at West Tennessee State Penitentiary where 64-year-old employee Debra Johnson lived. Authorities say Johnson was found deceased in the house with a cord around her neck.

Watson had been tasked with mowing duties at 7 a.m. that day, with access to a golf cart and tractor.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation tweeted Sunday that it had captured Watson Sunday morning.