Tennessee prison escapee indicted in rape, slaying of corrections employee

A Tennessee man who escaped from prison last year was indicted on 15 counts in the killing and rape of a Tennessee Department of Corrections employee. Photo courtesy Tennessee Bureau of Investigation

Feb. 5 (UPI) — A Tennessee man accused of raping and killing a corrections employee was indicted on 15 counts Tuesday.

Curtis Watson was indicted on four counts of first-degree murder and two counts of aggravated rape in the death of Tennessee Department of Corrections administrator Debra Johnson.

According to the indictment, a grand jury determined Watson “did unlawfully and with premeditation” kill Johnson in August.

The indictment also included a charge of felony escape after Watson left the West Tennessee Penitentiary and led police on a manhunt.

Johnson, a 64-year-old penitentiary corrections administrator, was found dead in her residence on prison grounds 1 hour after prison officials discovered Watson was missing.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said she was strangled and sexually assaulted by Watson.


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