Suspect in Murder, Sexual Assault of TN Prisons Employee Still at Large

The assailant—identified as Curtis Ray Watson—reportedly stole a tractor and reflective vest and drove off the facility and currently remains at large.

Curtis Ray Watson escaped the West Tennessee State Penitentiary Wednesday, August 7. He is a person-of-interest in the murder and sexual assault Department of Corrections employee. employee. (Photo: TBI)Curtis Ray Watson escaped the West Tennessee State Penitentiary Wednesday, August 7. He is a person-of-interest in the murder and sexual assault Department of Corrections employee. employee. (Photo: TBI)Photo: Tennessee Bureau of Investigations

A female employee with the West Tennessee State Penitentiary was found murdered in her residence on the grounds of the facility on Wednesday. The suspect is now the target of a manhunt.

According to NBC News, Correctional Administrator Debra Johnson was sexually assaulted and strangled.

The assailant—identified as Curtis Ray Watson—reportedly stole a tractor and reflective vest and drove off the facility. Watson was a trusty at the prison.

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