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Man escaped Tennessee prison after prison employee murdered, considered armed and dangerous

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Posted at 6:31 PM, Aug 07, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-07 20:04:18-04

HENNING, Tenn. — An inmate who escaped a Tennessee prison is a person of interest in a prison employee's murder and is currently armed and dangerous,, the Tennnessee Bureau of Investigations said Wednesday.

Curtis Ray Watson escaped the West Tennessee State Penitentiary, located just north of Memphis, on Wednesday. He's a person of interested in the murder of 64-year-old Debra Johnson, a correctional administrator at the prison.

Watson began his sentence for aggravated child abuse and especially aggravated kidnapping in August 2012 and was expected to be released May 2025. He has a long criminal history that includes tampering with government records, aggravated rape, violation of an order of protection, and aggravated assault charges.

Watson is considered extremely dangerous. If you see him, call 911 or 1-800-TBI-FIND.

The TBI released photos of Watson's tattoos, which they hope the public can use to identify him.

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This story was originally published by Caroline Sutton on WTVF in Nashville, Tennessee.