‘Extremely dangerous’ inmate escapes on tractor after death of prison employee

RIPLEY, Tenn. — An inmate who escaped on a tractor after a corrections employee was killed is considered extremely dangerous, officials say, the Associated Press reports.

Curtis Ray Watson, 44, is a person of interest in the death of correctional administrator Debra Johnson, 64, who was found dead in her on-site residence around 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, authorities say.

Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Director David Rausch said the tractor Watson used was found about a mile from the West Tennessee State Penitentiary

He was serving a sentence of 15 years for an especially aggravated kidnapping conviction.

Watson worked as a farm laborer at the prison.

TBI secured warrants for Watson for the following three charges: first-degree murder, especially aggravated burglary and aggravated sexual battery.

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