TN Escaped Convict Caught, Charged With Homicide

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Authorities may seek the death penalty for Curtis Ray Watson, an escaped convict captured by law enforcement Sunday after five days on the run, reports the Memphis Commercial Appeal. He surrendered without incident after leaving a soybean field 10 miles from West Tennessee State Penitentiary. Henning, Tn., residents Harvey and Ann Taylor spotted Watson on their home surveillance system at 3:30 a.m. taking drinks out of their outdoor refrigerator. Ann Taylor immediately recognized his face, and within 30 minutes, hundreds of law enforcement officers swarmed the area and began a ground and air search.

Watson is being charged with homicide. Debra Johnson, a corrections administrator at the prison, was found dead in her residence 30 minutes after prison officials discovered Watson was missing. Watson, 44, was serving a 15-year sentence for an especially aggravated kidnapping charge. The Tennessee Department of Correction’s Office of Investigation and Compliance are continuing to work with other agencies to investigate the incident and bring additional charges if appropriate.

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