Escaped Tennessee inmate in custody, authorities say

U.S. & World

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Authorities say a Tennessee convict suspected of killing a corrections administrator before escaping prison on a tractor has been captured.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said on Twitter that 44-year-old Curtis Ray Watson was caught Sunday. Details on the capture weren’t immediately released.

The Tennessee Department of Corrections said on Twitter that Watson was spotted early Sunday in the west Tennessee community of Henning, where he escaped from the West Tennessee State Penitentiary on Wednesday.

Curtis Ray Watson

The department says a resident who saw Watson on their property alerted authorities. Photos provided by the resident show Watson dressed in camouflage bib overalls and a hat and carrying a camp backpack.

The manhunt for 44-year-old Watson entered its fifth day on Sunday.

Rewards totaling $57,000 were available for information leading to Watson’s arrest.

An affidavit says Watson was discovered missing about 11 a.m. Wednesday, several hours after being seen near the house at West Tennessee State Penitentiary where 64-year-old employee Debra Johnson lived. Authorities say Johnson was found deceased in the house with a cord around her neck.

Watson had been tasked with mowing duties at 7 a.m. that day, with access to a golf cart and tractor.

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