Curtis Ray Watson Wiki
Curtis Ray Watson bolted from the West Tennessee State Penitentiary, on the same day that the body of a 64-year-old woman was located on prison property.
Watson, who is serving a 15-year sentence for especially aggravated kidnapping, was discovered missing when officials put the facility on lock-down and conducted a check of inmates.
$32,500 REWARD: During this afternoon’s press conference, Gov. @BillLeeTN announced an additional $25k reward for info which leads to the capture of Curtis Ray Watson who yesterday escaped WTSP and is a suspect in the homicide of a @TNTDOC1 #StateEmployee Have info? call 911 https://t.co/5rMV1cRhtw
— TN State Emplys Assc (@tseaonline) August 8, 2019
Curtis Ray Watson Age
He is 44 years old.
Curtis Ray Watson Missing
According to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI), Watson was discovered missing from a work detail after an employee was found dead on the prison grounds.
UPDATE: In addition to the search for Watson, TBI Agents are also investigating the homicide of the TDOC employee, at the request of 25th District Attorney General Mark Davidson. We have a team of Forensic Scientists responding to the scene and will provide updates when we can. pic.twitter.com/KDLw3CZdKH
— TBI (@TBInvestigation) August 7, 2019
He was a minimum custody offender and had a job as a farm laborer at the prison. He was discovered missing from his work detail. He escaped from the prison on a tractor that was found a mile from the prison.
Curtis Ray Watson Tennessee/ Curtis Watson Escape
Extremely dangerous escapee Curtis Ray Watson is still on the run after escaping the West Tennessee State Penitentiary less than an hour north of Memphis. Y’all be safe and aware of who’s around you. Follow @TBInvestigation for updates pic.twitter.com/JeviPbvrSJ
— Barstool Memphis (@stoolmemphis) August 8, 2019
On August 7, 2019, Curtis escaped from West Tennessee State Penitentiary in Henning. He was serving a 15-year sentence for aggravated kidnapping. The officials discovered him missing after they put the facility on lockdown and conducted a check of inmates after the body of Debra Johnson, an employee of 38 years who oversaw the facilities in the western part of the state, was discovered in her home on Wednesday morning about 11:30. The officials believe she was a victim of a homicide.
According to News 4, Curtis was a minimum custody offender and had a job as a farm laborer at the prison. He left the prison area on a tractor which was found about a mile from the prison facility.
During a press conference, TDOC Commissioner Tony Parker gave his condolences to Johnson’s family and said the officers will find Curtis and bring him to justice.
“I want to extend my condolences to the family of Miss Johnson, who was a victim of this homicide. Tonight, the TDOC is working closely with the TBI, the Department of Safety and local law enforcement agencies to search and to find Curtis Ray Watson, who is listed as the person of interest in this homicide. Rest assured we will find this offender and bring justice to the family of Debra Johnson.”
Tony Parker also said that Curtis had no disciplinary action against him since 2007, prior to 2007, he was disciplined for not reporting to his assigned duties and classes.
Curtis Ray Watson Killed Debra Johnson
@TBInvestigation: Murder warrant being issued for Watson in killing of TDOC Administrator Debra Johnson. LIVE NOW: $25k Reward offered:
TBI, Governor, and other officials provide update on search for escaped inmate Curtis Ray Watson. WATCH LIVE: https://t.co/gffD3wXP7D pic.twitter.com/CfAkYbMV43
— WSMV News4 Nashville (@WSMV) August 8, 2019
A woman from the Tennessee Department of Corrections was found dead and authorities were investigating her death when it was discovered that Watson was missing. The woman who was killed was Debra Johnson, 64, a West Tennessee Correctional administrator. She had been an employee with the state for 38 years.
She was found in her residence on the West Tennessee State Penitentiary grounds at 11:30 a.m. on August 7th, 2019, TBI shared. Her home showed evidence of foul play. At that time the facility was put on lockdown and it was discovered that Watson had escaped. TBI said the homicide happened at the prison that Watson had escaped from, Heavy reported.
Curtis Ray Watson Blue Alert
@TBInvestigation is set to hold a news conference regarding the latest in the hunt for escaped inmate Curtis Ray Watson. WATCH on-air on #News4 and streaming live in News4 App. #ManHunt #TNNews #BLUEALERT #Tennesssee #CurtisWatson pic.twitter.com/QtuTQ4fcwG
— WSMV News4 Nashville (@WSMV) August 8, 2019
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.
The Blue Alert poster reads: “The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has issued a Statewide Tennessee Blue Alert for Curtis Ray Watson. Watson is listed as a person of interest in the homicide of a Tennessee Department of Correction employee on August 7th, 2019 and is an escapee from the West Tennessee State Penitentiary in Henning, Tennessee. Watson should be considered extremely dangerous. If you have any information concerning Watson, please contact the TBI at 1-800-TBI-FIND.”
Curtis Ray Watson Criminal Record
TAKE A LOOK: @TBInvestigation released these past mug shots of escaped inmate Curtis Ray Watson in case he has changed his appearance since yesterday’s escape.
— Kirstin Garriss (@ReporterGarriss) August 8, 2019
Watson was in prison since 2013 and was not due for release until May 2025. He was convicted of aggravated kidnapping. In July 2012, a woman reported that he had hit her over the head and raped her twice. According to WMC5, he also had previous convictions for aggravated assault, aggravated rape, and aggravated child abuse. His record also included tampering with government records and a violation of protection order, according to News Channel 5.
Curtis Ray Watson Tattoos
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation shared on Twitter several photos of Curtis Ray Watson’s tattoos that can help identify him.
Curtis Ray Watson Height
He stands at a height of 5 feet 11 inches and weighs 140 pounds.
Curtis Ray Watson Ethnicity
He is a white male.
$25,000 reward, Inform About Escaped Inmate: Curtis Ray Watson
At this hour, efforts to locate Curtis Ray Watson remain ongoing. We have Agents on the ground and in the air, joining with partner agencies to pursue any leads that present.
If you see Watson, call 911. Do not approach. Stay vigilant! pic.twitter.com/GWVRJ36ZPo
— TBI (@TBInvestigation) August 8, 2019
Governor Bill Lee announced a $25,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest of the inmate.
Former Knoxville Police Chief and current TBI director David Rausch asked the public to look out for eachother as long as the inmate is on the run.
“Check on your neighbors,” said Rausch. “He could be anywhere. In Tennessee or a surrounding state.”
Officals said he is extremely dangerous. Anyone who sees him should not approach him, but call 911 immediately.
Fast Facts You Need to Know
- Curtis Ray Watson escaped from a Tennessee prison on a tractor on Wednesday
- He is a ‘person of interest’ in the death of a corrections officer who was discovered on the prison grounds at around 11.30 am
- Debra Johnson, 64, oversaw the facilities in the western part of the penitentiary
- A tractor he apparently used to make his get away was found one mile away
- Watson is serving a 15 year prison sentence for aggravated kidnapping and has a previous child abuse conviction