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Monday, August 12, 2019

Watson capture
An escaped prison inmate who allegedly killed a Tennessee Department of Correction employee was captured Sunday, according to the Tennessee Department of Investigation. Curtis Ray Watson escaped on a tractor while working lawn duty as a prisoner at West Tennessee State Penitentiary in Henning last Wednesday. He was serving a 15-year sentence for especially aggravated kidnapping. The 44-year-old Watson had been released on work detail for mowing duties, and was at the home of Debra Johnson, 64, a female corrections administrator. He allegedly sexually assaulted and strangled her before escaping. He was added to Tennessee's most wanted list, and a $57,000 reward for information leading to his capture and conviction was offered. Watson now faces charges of first degree murder, especially aggravated burglary and aggravated sexual battery. Prosecutors say they may seek the death penalty in the case. The TBI had posted a home security video of the escapee in Henning about 10 minutes before posting news of his capture. The video showed Watson opening a refrigerator on a carport outside of a home. The daughter of Watson offered thanks to law enforcement in a statement issued Sunday shortly after the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation announced it had captured the escaped inmate. "The family of Curtis Watson would like to extend their deepest and most heartfelt sympathies to the family of Ms Debra Johnson," said the statement from Harley Pole, Watson's daughter. Pole also thanked law enforcement and asked for privacy. "We pray for all of the TDOC staff who have been impacted by this overwhelming turn of events as well as the communities that have been terrorized for almost a week. We thank everyone who has helped to keep us safe and informed of the developments this last week. At this time, we ask for privacy as we continue to deal with this adversity."

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Monday, August 19, 2019

  • Jefferson County fatality
  • Cocke County pursuit
  • Weisend assault

    Friday, August 16, 2019

  • Governors Rural Opportunity Summit
  • Motorcycle crash
  • Cocke County fire and marijuana
  • Jobless numbers in July
  • West is executed

    Thursday, August 15, 2019

  • Carver's Apple House damaged
  • Cocke County Grand Jury
  • Inmates charged
  • Governor's Rural Opportunities Summit
  • Endangered Species Act

    Wednesday, August 14, 2019

  • Newport City Council
  • Cocke County Finance Committee

    Tuesday, August 13, 2019

  • Williams injury
  • Large barn/apartment destroyed by fire
  • Tennessee tourism continues to grow
  • Gas prices continue to drop
  • Hembree incident
  • Abortion bill

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