Escaped prisoner suspected of murdering, sexually assaulting warden is captured

TBI released two of Curtis Ray Watson's previous mug shots in case he altered his appearance after his escape

TBI released two of Curtis Ray Watson's previous mug shots in case he altered his appearance after his escape

The search continues for a Tennessee convict charged with sexually assaulting and strangling a corrections administrator, then escaping on a tractor.

Curtis Ray Watson is shown in the back of a law enforcement vehicle.

The Tennessee Department of Correction has confirmed escaped inmate Curtis Watson was spotted early this morning in Henning, Tennessee.

Authorities continued an intense manhunt for Watson on Friday, setting up roadblocks and searching the farms, fields and woods of West Tennessee.

The field was located 10 miles from the West Tennessee State Penitentiary where Watson made his August 7 escape.

Around 3:30 a.m. on Sunday morning, Harvey and Ann Taylor were jolted awake by an alert from their home surveillance system, telling them someone was in their backyard.

"They got him and our community should be relieved that he is back in custody", said Taylor Jr.

Watson is 5 feet, 11 inches, 140 pounds with brown eyes, a long gray beard, and a large number of tattoos.

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PHOTO: Curtis Ray Watson is seen in this undated booking photo.

Watson was serving a sentence for especially aggravated kidnapping, which he was convicted of in 2013, according to the TBI. Watson illegally confined his wife while using an aluminum baseball bat in July 2012, court documents showed. In 2011, a child abuse conviction expired. Shortly after, he was seen taking a tractor and reflective vest from the prison and driving away.

He was seen on the property through the resident's outdoor home camera.

Johnson, a 38-year veteran employee of Tennessee state, was found in her home on prison property with a cord wrapped around her neck Wednesday morning.

A media briefing is pending, but officials have reported Watson was taken into custody alive and is reportedly being taken for treatment at a local hospital. The fugitive was covered in tick and mosquito bites, and "weathered from his time outside", Rausch said.

Watson's daughter, Harley Pole, thanked law enforcement in a statement issued shortly after her father was captured. Watson was added to the state's Most Wanted list.

A warrant was issued charging him with first-degree murder, especially aggravated burglary and aggravated sexual battery. "We are looking at whether or not we might apply the death penalty or seek the death penalty in this case", said Mark Davidson, district attorney.

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