Mental evaluation planned for accused killer Curtis Watson


RIPLEY, Tenn. (AP) — A mental evaluation will help decide whether a convict accused of killing a Tennessee corrections administrator before escaping prison is competent to stand trial.

Attorneys for Curtis Ray Watson said during a hearing Wednesday that a forensic evaluation could take place by video conference in October for the two-time felon.

Authorities say Watson was on mowing duties at West Tennessee State Penitentiary on Aug. 7 when he went to Debra Johnson’s home on prison grounds and killed the corrections administrator.

Watson then escaped on a tractor and eluded law enforcement for four days until his arrest.

Lawyers say the evaluation will likely be done by video because Watson is behind bars at a maximum-security prison in Nashville, about 170 miles (274 kilometers) east of Ripley, where court proceedings are taking place.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Don't Miss

Trending Stories