Watson Arrested--Still In Henning After 5 Days

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Watson arrested and in back of patrol car (8/11/2019)
Home surveillance in Henning, TN got this picture of Watson at 5:00AM on Sunday morning 8/11/2019.

(HENNING, TN) After 5-days on-the-run, 44-year old Curtis Ray Watson has been apprehended. To the amazement of most persons, he was still in Henning, Tennessee.

On Sunday morning, Watson was caught trespassing at a home in this rural West Tennessee community. He was first seen through the homeowner's camera surveillance system, and the authorities were notified.

Watson escaped the prison on his birthday, and he is a suspect in the assault and murder of the prison administrator Debra Johnson.


Johnson was from Nashville, and her funeral services were there this past Friday (8/9/2019).



The family of Curtis Watson would like to extend their deepest and most heartfelt sympathies to the family of Debra Johnson.

We also want to thank the Lauderdale County Sheriff's Department, TBI, FBI, U-S Marshals and every law enforcement agency who assisted in the apprehension today.

We pray for all of the TDOC staff who have been impacted by this overwhelming turn of events as well as the communities that have been terrorized for almost a week.

We thank everyone who has helped to keep us safe and informed of the developments this last week.

At this time, we ask for privacy as we continue to deal with this adversity.


Henning is a small town of 950 persons in the west Tennessee's Lauderdale County. It is the only place in Tennessee where a Native American Indian tribe owns land. In 2012 a group from the Mississippi Band of Choctow placed 79 acres into the federal trust. It was the site of the Civil War's Battle of Ft. Pillow and that State Park is there.

Although born in New York state, the author of Roots, Alex Haley, grew up in Henning. In fact, that is where the Alex Haley Museum is located. The noted author, who died in 1992, is burried there.

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apprehended, Curtis Ray Watson, still in Henning, TBI, Tennessee, TN, WGNS
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