Saturday, 14 December, 2019

Curtis Watson arrested in Tipton County — CAPTURED

TBI released two of Curtis Ray Watson's previous mug shots in case he altered his appearance Curtis Watson arrested in Tipton County — CAPTURED
Deanna Wagner | 12 August, 2019, 13:41

"We were awaken at about 3:30 this morning by the alarm on the ring doorbell".

Initially, the Taylors were unable to see the man's face.

Once Watson closed the refrigerator door, Ann Taylor recognized Watson from his beard, and the couple called 911. They then notified the police.

Johnson's co-workers discovered her body about 11:30 a.m. Wednesday after she didn't report to work.

"Our community should be relieved that he's back in custody", he said.

"He could be anywhere", TBI Director David Rausch said. They also found the 44-year-old's discarded prison identification card.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation tweeted Saturday that it believes Watson remains in the surrounding area. He now appears to be dressed in camouflage bib overalls and a hat and is carrying a camp backpack.

By early afternoon, authorities confirmed his capture, also releasing a video of him being placed in a squad auto, as well as photos of him in custody.

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Visibly exhausted, Harvey Taylor expressed relief that the fugitive was back in custody, and acknowledged that the late-night encounter could have ended much differently.

Johnson worked for the Tennessee Department of Corrections (TDOC) for 38 years in various roles that included correctional sergeant, deputy warden and warden.

He was serving a sentence of 15 years for an especially aggravated kidnapping conviction. It was found about a mile away from the facility.

The TBI had secured warrants for Watson on charges of first-degree murder, aggravated burglary and aggravated sexual battery.

Rewards totalling $57,000 were offered for information leading to Watson's arrest.

According to a TBI affidavit, Watson had been released temporarily for mowing duties at 7 a.m. earlier that day, and had access to a golf cart and a tractor. He is suspected of killing a prison administrator, Debra Johnson, in her home on prison grounds Wednesday. The medical examiner declared her death a homicide by strangulation, the affidavit says.

"CAPTURED! Thank you for helping us to spread the word this week about Curtis Ray Watson, who was caught this morning in the Henning area". In 2012, he pleaded guilty to holding his wife against her will while using an aluminum baseball bat as a weapon, WKRN reported. He began his sentence in 2013.