Published: Mon, August 12, 2019
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Escaped Tennessee Inmate Accused of Killing Prison Employee Captured

Escaped Tennessee Inmate Accused of Killing Prison Employee Captured

Curtis Ray Watson escaped from work detail at the West Tennessee State Penitentiary in Henning, Tennessee, about 50 miles northeast of Memphis, and should be considered armed and extremely risky, the Tennessee Department of Corrections said in a statement Wednesday.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation announced Thursday that warrants for those charges had been obtained for fugitive Curtis Ray Watson, who is a suspect in the murder of an administrator at the West Tennessee State Penitentiary, where he escaped Wednesday. The facility is about 60 miles (97 kilometers) from Memphis.

Curtis Ray Watson, 44, bolted from the West Tennessee State Penitentiary, on the same day that the body of a 64-year-old woman was located on prison property.

Earlier Sunday, Tennessee Department of Correction said a resident in Henning notified authorities that he was spotted on the family's property.

Watson was convicted of especially aggravated kidnapping and aggravated child abuse.

Watson has been added to the Tennessee State Bureau of Investigation's most wanted list and is considered "extremely risky", according to officials.

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By Wednesday afternoon, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation had issued a "blue alert" for the missing convict, meaning police are looking for a violent criminal suspected of hurting a member of law enforcement.

Curtis Ray Watson escaped, taking off on a tractor, authorities said. Watson was found to be missing after a count of inmates was conducted, police said.

Johnson had been employed by the state for 38 years and "was very well regarded with staff and inmate population", Tony Parker, commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Corrections, said at the press conference Thursday.

"Watson is 5'11", 140 lbs, brown eyes, long gray beard.

Rausch urged residents in the area to remain "vigilant" and contact authorities if they notice anything suspicious.

The governor also authorized a $25,000 reward for information leading to Watson's arrest.

Director Rausch: We have Special Agents and Forensic Scientists working through the night investigating the scene.

Watson's sentence is expected to last until 2025 and he has served nearly six years of it, The Commercial Appeal reported. Here are photos of Watson and his tattoos, along with more details and updates about the escaped inmate to help you identify him.

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