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Escaped inmate Curtis Watson captured after five day manhunt, could face death penalty

Posted at 6:41 AM, Aug 11, 2019

Escaped inmate Curtis Watson was captured in Henning, Tennesee Sunday morning after five days on the run.

According to the TBI, around 3:30 a.m. Sunday Morning, a Harvey and Ann Taylor's outdoor camera system captured an image of Watson. Within 30 minutes, hundreds of law enforcement were on the scene about 10 miles from the prison where Watson escaped.

Watson was captured around 11 a.m. According to the TBI, Watson surrendered without incident.

Watson faces several new charges, including first degree murder in the death of TDOC Administrator Debra Johnson, aggravated sexual battery and escape. He will be arraigned later this week. Prosecutor Mark Davidson said they will consider seeking the death penalty.

The video captured by the Taylors' camera showed Watson opening an outdoor refrigerator at the home. The homeowner said he stole several water bottles.

It's unclear if the Taylors will get the $57,000 reward for Curtis' capture, but the TBI says it will be discussed.

"We have no indication that anyone assisted him," investigators said after Watson's capture, adding that everything he had, including a change of clothing, had been stolen. They said Curtis was relieved after being arrested, telling police he knew we wouldn't be able to escape given the number of law enforcement in the area, which is estimated to have been 300-400 during the search.

They believe he spent all five days within the area near the prison.

Watson escaped from the West Tennessee State Penitentiary on August 7, his 44th birthday.

Several agencies including TDOC, THP, FBI, US Marshal's, TBI and the ATF helped with the search.

Six deputies and two K-9s from Henry County are in Henning helping with the search for Watson.

Murdered TDOC employee was sexually assaulted, died of strangulation
Funeral arrangements announced for murdered TDOC employee, Debra Johnson
Escapee Curtis Watson had special privileges easing his escape