West TN Escaped Convict Set to Appear in Court Wednesday

(AP)  The Tennessee convict suspected of killing a corrections administrator before escaping prison on a tractor is due in court Wednesday for arraignment on first degree murder charges.

Authorities caught 44-year-old Curtis Ray Watson Sunday, a few days after his escape from prison.  The TBI says Watson was on lawn mowing duty when he sexually assaulted and strangled a Department of Corrections administrator employee last week at the West Tennessee State Penitentiary in Henning.

TBI says Watson escaped prison grounds, and the tractor was found nearby. Authorities launched an intense manhunt after Debra Johnson’s body was found with a cord wrapped around her neck Wednesday morning.

Tennessee’s governor says protocol was followed by prison officials prior to the escape of a Tennessee convict suspected of killing a Department of Corrections employee, but hard questions remain.

Gov. Bill Lee told reporters Monday his administration wants to examine Correction protocols after the death of the 64-year-old department employee.

 

There is no custom code to display.

Weather

  • Forecast
  • Currents
  • Planner

What's happening

Outlook on East TN

Outlook on East TN

Get an UPDATE on what’s ahead The 2020 Breakfast Speaker Series is back ONLINE. Literally. Get an update THIS Friday, May 29, 8-9AM on the most current issues & concerns of local businesses from our panel of elected officials, while NewsTalk 98.7’s Hallerin Hilton Hill moderates Q&A and discussion of the new “Outlook on East Tennessee.” Panelists for this online event…

NewsTalk 98.7’s Summer Home Makeover

NewsTalk 98.7’s Summer Home Makeover

NewsTalk 98.7 wants to give you a $4,500 summer home makeover of your dreams from some of East Tennessee’s best home improvement services! Find out how you can win here.

Cumulus Knoxville COVID-19 Resource Center

Cumulus Knoxville COVID-19 Resource Center

Listen to Hallerin Hilton Hill discuss with official resources as he provides you with important information regarding the COVID-19 crisis, and how you can get relief through local & federal resources. Find all the information you need to know about COVID-19 testing, relief, & resources, with web links and more here.

Local Love

Local Love

Cumulus Knoxville loves the local community. We want to show some local love by encouraging you to shop at East Tennessee businesses. 

Heroes of Health

Heroes of Health

Cumulus Media thanks all of the Heroes of Health in our community, from first responders to health care workers, who have been on the frontlines during the COVID-19 crisis. View a list of local health heroes here.