HENNING, TN — The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is searching for a man who escaped from the West Tennessee State Penitentiary Wednesday.
The TBI issued a statewide alert for 44-year-old Curtis Ray Watson, who escaped from the prison in Henning, Tennessee. The alert says Watson is a person of interest in the homicide of a department of corrections employee.
"Watson should be considered extremely dangerous," the TBI alert warns.
Watson is 5 feet, 11 inches tall and weighs 140 pounds. He has brown eyes, brown hair and a number of tattoos. The TBI released several photos of Watson's tattoos, which are included below this story.
In a news conference Wednesday evening, TBI Director David Rausch said Watson, who worked as a farmed laborer at the prison, escaped on a tractor.
Speaking at the news conference, Department of Corrections Commissioner Tony Parker said the corrections employee, 64-year-old Debra Johnson, was found dead inside her residence at the penitentiary around 11:30 a.m. Wednesday.
Parker said Watson was serving a 15-year sentence for especially aggravated kidnapping out of Henry County.
If you have information about where Watson is, you can call 911 or the TBI at 1-800-FIND.
UPDATE: We are releasing two of Curtis Watson’s previous mug shots from his TDOC incarceration, in case he altered the appearance of his facial hair after his escape yesterday.— TBI (@TBInvestigation) August 8, 2019
If you see him, do not approach. Call 911.
Thanks for helping us to spread the word! pic.twitter.com/4EhBnEK9J6