State leaders, law enforcement react to Watson’s capture

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Curtis Watson

This photo provided by The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation shows Curtis Ray Watson. Authorities say Watson, a 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 Watson was caught Sunday, Aug. 11, 2019. (Courtesy: The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation)

HENNING, Tenn. (WKRN) – After five days on the run, murder suspect Curtis Watson has been captured in Henning, not far from the prison where he escaped.

Watson was arrested without incident Sunday morning and was taken to a nearby hospital to be checked out. Pictures released by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation show markings on Watson’s face. It’s unclear if he was injured and if so, how badly.

Watson is accused of strangling Corrections Administrator Debra Johnson to death inside her home on the property of the West Tennessee State Penitentiary.

Upon learning about his mother’s suspected killer’s capture, Mychal Austin said he and his family, “…are sticking together. We are pleased.”

Governor Bill Lee posted on Twitter it was “tremendous news that this fugitive is back in custody.”

Corrections Commissioner Tony Parker tweeted in-part, “Mission complete.”

Congressman David Kustoff, R-D08, represents West Tennessee and tweeted in-part, “Thank you to… all who worked tirelessly to ensure this fugitive was back in custody. Your hard work is endlessly appreciated.”

The Tennessee Department of Correction thanked the state and local law enforcement agencies that worked to capture Watson.

Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew provided insight into the search for Watson on Facebook, saying, “We were on a perimeter pushing the suspect when he popped out of a bean field and a TDOC officer took him into custody. “

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