Affidavit: Escaped inmate assaulted, strangled prison worker
Authorities say Curtis Ray Watson sexually assaulted and strangled Debra Johnson before escaping
By Jonathan Mattise
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Authorities say a Tennessee prisoner on lawn mowing duty sexually assaulted and strangled a female corrections worker on Wednesday. He escaped and is still at large.
An affidavit filed by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation states that 44-year-old Curtis Ray Watson was discovered missing about 11 a.m. Wednesday, several hours after he was seen near the house at West Tennessee State Penitentiary where 64-year-old employee Debra Johnson lived.
Watson had been released temporarily for mowing duties at 7 a.m. earlier that day, and had access to a golf cart and a tractor.
The affidavit says co-workers discovered Johnson's body at her home at 11:30 a.m., and that agents found a cord wrapped around her neck.
Authorities are offering a $52,500 reward for information leading to Watson's capture.