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Tennessee convict set to face judge after escape, capture

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RIPLEY, Tenn. — A Tennessee convict accused of killing a corrections administrator and escaping prison before leading authorities on a multi-day manhunt is set to face a judge.

Curtis Ray Watson is scheduled to appear in a Tennessee court Wednesday for arraignment on charges including murder and aggravated sexual battery in 64-year-old Debra Johnson’s killing.

Authorities say the 44-year-old Watson was on lawn mowing duties at West Tennessee State Penitentiary on Aug. 7 when he went to Johnson’s home on prison grounds and killed her. Authorities say Watson then escaped on a tractor.

Watson eluded authorities until his arrest Sunday. He was found hours after he was spotted by surveillance cameras outside of a home in Henning, 10 miles (16 kilometers) from the prison.

Watson has been serving a 15-year sentence for especially aggravated kidnapping.

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