Search continues for escaped inmate wanted in corrections employee’s death

LAUDERDALE COUNTY, Tenn. — Authorities urge residents to be alert as the search continues for an escaped prison inmate who is a person of interest in the homicide of a correctional employee.

Curtis Ray Watson, 44, is a person of interest in the homicide of Debra Johnson. Johnson, 64, worked as a correctional administrator at West Tennessee State Penitentiary, according to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

Watson escaped from the facility Wednesday.

Johnson was a 38-year veteran employee of the state of Tennessee.

Watson is described as standing five feet 11 inches tall and weighing 140 pounds with brown eyes and a long, gray beard. The TBI has released several photos of Watson’s tattoos.

During a news conference Wednesday evening, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said Johnson was found in her home. There was not yet word on how Watson may have known where she was.

There were no further details regarding Johnson’s death.

Authorities say the search for Watson will continue throughout the night.

Watson is considered dangerous, and authorities say no one should approach him. If you see Watson, call 911 or 1-800-TBI-FIND.

See our original story on the search for Watson here.

Stay with WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News on air and online for any updates.

Categories: Crime, Local News, News, Regional News