TN - Curtis Ray Watson, 44, Prison Escapee, Suspect Corrections Officer Murder, 7 August 2019

Discussion in 'Crimes in the News' started by PastTense, Aug 7, 2019.

  1. PastTense

    PastTense Well-Known Member

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    "Authorities are on a manhunt for Curtis Ray Watson, a prisoner who escaped from West Tennessee State Penitentiary in Henning and is suspected in a corrections employee’s death. People in the area have been warned that Watson is considered “extremely dangerous.” A Blue Alert was issued for Watson. This is only the third time a blue alert has ever been issued since the program was started in 2011...

    Authorities are concerned that he might be connected to a homicide in the area, Covington Leader reported. A woman from the Tennessee Department of Corrections was found dead on Highway 87 across from the prison. Authorities were investigating her death when it was discovered that Watson was missing. According to News 3, a source close to the investigation said that a person near the prison was found dead, but it’s unclear if this is the corrections officer or a second person...

    He Was In Prison for Kidnapping & Also Has Assault, Rape & Child Abuse on His Record."

    Curtis Ray Watson: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know | Heavy.com

    "The TBI has identified the victim as 64-year-old Debra Johnson. Johnson worked as a West Tennessee Correctional Administrator for the Tennessee Department of Correction."
    'Extremely dangerous’ escapee from W. Tennessee prison is person of interest in DOC worker’s homicide
    [​IMG]
     
  2. GordianKnot

    GordianKnot Well-Known Member

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    Manhunt underway: 'Extremely dangerous' Tennessee man is person-of-interest in homicide

    SABBM:
    Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew urged the community to be aware of the possibility Watson would return to the area, which is approximately 100 miles northeast of the prison.

    "The suspect does have ties to the community. We are urging our citizens to have a heightened awareness and use caution," Belew said.
    __________________

    Heads-up, Tennesseans.

    Stay alert.
    Stay aware.
    Stay safe.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2019
  3. GordianKnot

    GordianKnot Well-Known Member

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    Footage of the TBI's presser at link.

    TBI searching for man who escaped prison

    We can confirm the homicide victim at West Tennessee State Penitentiary is Correctional Administrator Debra Johnson. She is a 38-year veteran employee of the state of Tennessee.

    Curtis Ray Watson escaped from jail on his 44th birthday.

    This is the third time TBI has ever issued a Blue Alert, which are used to inform the public on violent suspects who kill or seriously injure law enforcement officers in the line of duty.

    The penitentiary is in Henning, Tennessee, which is about two hours away from Nashville.
    ______________________

    Stating the obvious: this is a really, really, really evil monster on the loose.
    He's just murdered a prison employee in a state that has the death penalty.
    He has nothing to lose at this point.

    I hope LE shoots him on sight.

    JMO.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2019
  4. GordianKnot

    GordianKnot Well-Known Member

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    TBI's Most Wanted

    He's now on Tennessee's Top 10 Most Wanted List.
    Reward up to $2,500 being offered.

    The state might want to consider bumping that reward amount up a tad, considering this cretin's just murdered a State of Tennessee employee who gave them 38 years of service,
    and he poses an imminent and extreme threat to all its citizens right now.

    Just one for the suggestion box.

    JMO.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2019
  5. GordianKnot

    GordianKnot Well-Known Member

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    Tennessee inmate escapes from prison where top ranking official was found dead - CNN

    "This is a serious situation and we ask the public to stay vigilant, to stay aware," TBI Director David Rausch said. "We need to get this dangerous individual into custody."

    Officials said Watson worked on a farm detail and apparently used a tractor in the escape. It was found about a mile away from the facility.

    This is Watson's second prison stint. He previously was in prison for aggravated child abuse and was released in 2011. He returned to prison in 2013.
    ____________________________

    Of course, this begs the question:
    What was the prison doing allowing this extremely dangerous prisoner to work on a farm detail, with access to a tractor?????!!!!!

    I find that fact both stunning, and infuriating.
    That's just plain stupid.

    JMO.
     
  6. GordianKnot

    GordianKnot Well-Known Member

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    Debra Johnson: Tribute to the Tennessee Corrections Employee | Heavy.com

    SABBM:

    Around 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Johnson was found dead in her residence on the West Tennessee State Penitentiary grounds in Henning, TBI shared. There were signs of foul play in her home, but authorities did not elaborate. The TDOC has 8 to 12 homes on TDOC grounds that administrators can live in, News 4 reported.

    State Rep. Chris Hurt said in a statement about Johnson’s tragic death: “Our community has suffered an immeasurable loss today at the hands of a violent criminal who clearly has no regard for human life. Please continue to pray for the family and loved ones of our fallen Department of Corrections employee and for those working to apprehend the individual responsible and bring him to swift justice.”


     
  7. K.jill

    K.jill Well-Known Member

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    So , Watson escaped on a tractor while on farm detail. And the guard was killed inside her home that was on the prison grounds.
    Assuming Watson killed Debra Johnson, the guard, did he do it before or after escaping on the tractor???
     
  8. PastTense

    PastTense Well-Known Member

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    Debra Johnson was not a guard, she was an administrator.
     
  9. mrz

    mrz Well-Known Member

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    Great question. What the hell is wrong with the state officials that somehow thought this guy should be on farm detail?
     
  10. GordianKnot

    GordianKnot Well-Known Member

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    Haven't seen anything published yet r/t the timeline, aside from the fact that they discovered DJ dead in her residence at 11:30 am. LE may still be trying to determine the sequence of events right now.

    Given this creep's history of agg rape & agg assault, though, I'm wondering if he attacked DJ in her home first and then fled the prison grounds after the murder.

    I can't wrap my brain around the fact that an inmate can wander about outside doing "farm detail," apparently without close supervision, break into a house on the prison grounds, murder a prison employee in her residence, then drive off prison grounds free as a bird on a tractor....

    This is absolutely mind-boggling.

    I hope this poor woman's family sues the state for everything they're worth.
    She was 64, with 38 years of service working with the State of Tennessee.
    I'll bet that she was planning to retire within the next year or so.


    JMO.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2019
  11. GordianKnot

    GordianKnot Well-Known Member

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    BOLO: Escaped inmate sought in murder of TDOC employee has family in middle Tennessee

    SABBM:

    The TBI believes Watson left the prison on a tractor. The tractor was recovered about a mile or a mile and a half from the facility.

    Watson was a minimal custody offender assigned to a job as a farm laborer at the prison. Authorities say he was serving a 15-year sentence for an especially aggravated kidnapping conviction in 2013. His sentence was set to expire in 2025. He also has a previous child abuse conviction.
    ________________________

    I hope they got the dogs out right away yesterday tracking him from the point where he ditched the tractor.

    He's still at large as of this morning.

    JMO.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2019
  12. Jealoushe

    Jealoushe Well-Known Member

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    Wow, a repeat rapist, kidnapper, sexual predator is left with access to a woman employee? Sounds like his urge had taken over and he needed to live out his urges again.

    How sad, was the guard living on the prison grounds?
     
  13. GordianKnot

    GordianKnot Well-Known Member

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    Yes, the victim, DJ, was living on the grounds.

    FWIW, she was the prison administrator, not a guard.

    I'm incredulous that he was considered a minimal custody offender given his extensive and violent criminal history.

    This never should have happened. This rapist should not have been out on the grounds unsupervised in proximity to women. With access to a motorized vehicle, no less.

    JMO.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2019
  14. PastTense

    PastTense Well-Known Member

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    I was looking for details of the crime Watson was in prison for? All I can find is:
    "Officers with the Paris Police Department arrested a Paris man Wednesday night for allegedly physically and sexually assaulting a local woman. The man is also accused of holding the woman as a prisoner at a local residence.

    Curtis Ray Watson, 37, of 1204-B Lincoln St. was charged with aggravated rape and aggravated kidnapping.

    According to a PPD press release, officers with the PPD were at Henry County Medical Center investigating another matter when the female victim arrived at the emergency room.

    She told officers Watson had attacked and raped her. According to the woman, Watson struck her in the head with a blunt object and forced her to have sex with him two times that day. She also told officers that Watson restrained her and wouldn’t let her leave the house for several hours.

    She finally talked him into taking her to the hospital for treatment."

    PARIS TN: Kidnap case brings rape charge by the Paris Police Department

    "A Paris man was sentenced to serve 15 years in jail when he pleaded guilty Friday in Henry County Circuit Court to charges of especially aggravated kidnapping.

    Curtis Ray Watson, 37, 1204 Lincoln St., Apartment B in Paris was charged in connection with an incident in July 2012 when he held a woman against her will in his residence. During the incident, Watson also hit the woman with an aluminum baseball bat.

    Watson had originally been charged with aggravated kidnapping but the charge was amended to the more serious charge."
    PARIS TN: Aggravated kidnapping nets Paris, TN man 15 years in jail
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2019
    Really?, Willow Knight, mrz and 2 others like this.
  15. GordianKnot

    GordianKnot Well-Known Member

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    This monster has an extensive criminal history, including but not limited to: agg assault, agg rape, child abuse, violating order of protection.

    Reading some of the linked articles will give you a lot of info...at least, plenty enough for you to start asking yourself why exactly the TN DOC thought it'd be a good idea to have this model citizen out riding the prison grounds unsupervised on a tractor.

    JMO.
     
  16. GordianKnot

    GordianKnot Well-Known Member

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    Escaped Tennessee inmate, now murder suspect 'could be anywhere,' $52,500 reward offered

    SABBM:
    Watson is officially a suspect in the murder of TDOC Correctional administrator Debra Johnson, 64, who was found dead in her residence Wednesday morning on the prison grounds at West Tennessee State Penitentiary.

    A $52,500 reward is being offered for the arrest or apprehension on Watson. The reward money breaks down like this - Gov. Bill Lee: $25,000; ATF: $5,000; TBI: $2,500; FBI: $10,000; U.S. Marshals: $10,000.

    Residents are asked to stay extra vigilant while the manhunt is underway. Watson should be considered dangerous and should not be approached.

    Residents should check their property. If they don't feel comfortable, contact local law enforcement for assistance.

    Trail cameras, dog houses and outbuildings should be checked on. Residents are encouraged to check in on their neighbors.

    ____________________________

    Still at large.

    At least the state has bumped up the reward amount from the paltry $2,500 they were offering yesterday.

    Re: checking outbuildings, dog houses, etc.., I have a huge concern that this guy is going to break into a (hopefully unoccupied) house to steal food, supplies, change his appearance, etc.).

    For that reason, I'm glad to see LE call for people to check in on neighbors to make sure they're alive and well.

    I do think he's going to be looking for a place to stock up.

    I'm just hoping that one of the things he isn't stocking up on is weapons.

    JMO.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2019
  17. AzPistonsGirl

    AzPistonsGirl Detroit to the Bone

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    he has family there... no need to break into anyone else's home.

    Ugh, this is awfully scary for folks in that area.
     
  18. mrz

    mrz Well-Known Member

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    Im all for prison reform, Prisoners doing their time and getting out back into the world after our help with reform. However-- Sexual predators in my opinion can not be reformed! If this dog was executed like he should have been, in my opinion, this would not be an issue. This is a disgrace to the justice system, and a beautiful, hard working woman is dead now, and this crepe is running loose. Unbelievable!
     
  19. GordianKnot

    GordianKnot Well-Known Member

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    Video of TBI update at link:

    Escaped Tennessee convict could have left state

    SABBM:

    Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Director David Rausch said during a news conference in Nashville that the search continued Thursday for 44-year-old Curtis Ray Watson.

    Rausch said Watson is now considered a suspect in Johnson's killing. He's considered extremely dangerous. Rausch said there have been no credible sightings of Watson.

    Rausch asked those who live in the area of the prison to look for things that are "out of place," such as missing food, weapons or vehicles. The TBI chief said Watson could be outside of Tennessee.

    _______________________

    This guy is in the wind.

    I just hope he doesn't kill anybody else before he's captured.

    JMO.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2019
  20. LadyL

    LadyL Well-Known Member

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    really scary looking creep
     

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