Tennessee prison escapee indicted for murder, rape of TDOC administrator

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)

LAUDERDALE COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — The man accused of killing a long-time Tennessee Department of Correction employee and escaping from a West Tennessee prison last year has been indicted for murder.

According to the indictment out of Lauderdale County, a grand jury determined Curtis Watson “did unlawfully and with premeditation” kill TDOC Administrator Debra Johnson in Aug. 2019.

Watson was indicted Tuesday on 15 charges, including first-degree murder and aggravated rape.

TIMELINE: The manhunt for ‘extremely dangerous’ felon, Curtis Watson

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said Johnson was strangled and sexually assaulted by Watson, who was captured after a five-day manhunt.

News 2 reached out to Johnson’s family, but they have no comment at this time.

Click here for complete coverage of the death of Debra Johnson.

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