‘Extremely dangerous’ escaped convict in Tennessee captured

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UPDATE — Aug. 11, 2019, 12 p.m. —

Curtis Watson has been captured in Henning, Tenn., according to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

Authorities were made aware of a home security system that caught Watson on surveillance.

It was not long after that the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation reported he was back in custody.


RIPLEY, Tenn. (AP) — Authorities are searching for a Tennessee convict who officials say is a person of interest in the death of a corrections employee and escaped a prison on a tractor.

WATCH: Tennessee Officials hold a press conference about escaped inmate Curtis Watson

The tractor used by Curtis Ray Watson, 44, was found about a mile (1.6 kilometers) away from the West Tennessee State Penitentiary on Wednesday, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Director David Rausch said. The facility is about 60 miles (97 kilometers) from Memphis.

Department of Correction Commissioner Tony Parker said 64-year-old administrator Debra Johnson was found dead in her home Wednesday. He said she lived in a property on site.

Watson was serving a 15-year sentence on an especially aggravated kidnapping conviction and worked at the prison as a farm laborer.

TBI reported Thursday morning on Twitter that while there have been reports of sightings across the state, none of those reports had been confirmed.

Roadblocks have been set up near Henning, with authorities searching vehicles for Watson. Law enforcement agents fanned out throughout the area, which includes farms, fields, rivers and woods. Railroad tracks also crisscross a landscape dotted by small towns and cities.

Johnson, the slain administrator, had been a state employee for 38 years. She oversaw wardens at several area prisons, corrections officials said.

TBI says Watson should be considered extremely dangerous.

Authorities are now offering a $32,500 reward for information leading to his arrest. Anyone with information call TBI

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