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Escaped Convict Captured After Killing

Corrections official was found dead in her home
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 11, 2019 1:05 PM CDT
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This photo provided by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation shows Curtis Ray Watson, who was taken into custody Sunday.   (The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation via AP)

(Newser) – An escaped convict suspected in the killing of a Tennessee corrections administrator was captured Sunday, four days after he apparently slipped away from a work detail. A resident of Hennings, about 10 miles from the prison, had spotted Curtis Watson, 44, on his property in home surveillance video Sunday morning. Corrections officials then posted photos from the video online showing Watson in a hat and camouflage overalls. They announced his capture in a tweet.

Watson was convicted in 2013 of especially aggravated kidnapping, per ABC. He earlier was convicted of child abuse. The administrator, Debra Johnson, 64, was found dead at her home on prison grounds Wednesday morning. The penitentiary then went into lockdown, and a count of inmates showed Watson was missing. Court documents say Johnson was sexually assaulted and strangled. Officials said they don't know if Johnson knew Watson, though they said she sometimes knew the inmates working on the site. Johnson was "very well regarded with staff and inmate population," the state's corrections chief said last week. (Read more prison escape stories.)

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