Debra Johnson

Debra Johnson, Correctional Administrator, was killed near the West Tennessee State Penitentiary. Curtis Ray Watson is a person of interest in the death. (Photo: Tennessee Department of Correction)

NASHVILLE (WSMV) - A Tennessee Department of Correction Administrator was laid to rest Friday at noon at The Temple Church on Kings Lane in North Nashville.

Debra Johnson served at TDOC for 38 years in various roles including Sergeant, Deputy Warden, and Warden. She most recently served as a Correctional Administrator for the state agency's West region.

Johnson was described by TDOC as a mentor, role model, and was nominated for her contributions numerous times. She was nationally recognized for her efforts in 2006 at the American Correction Association's Winter Conference in Nashville.

Johnson leaves behind two sons, a daughter, her mother, and two sisters.

Johnson was found murdered in her home on TDOC property. Her killer is believed to be Curtis Ray Watson, an inmate who escaped and led multiple agencies on a multi-day manhunt after escaping prison property on a tractor.

Follow more coverage on the case in the timeline below this article. App users, click here.

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WSMV Digital Content Producer

Joey is an award-winning Digital Content Producer on the WSMV Digital Team! A graduate of the University of South Carolina-Aiken, Joey joined WSMV in September 2018. He's happy to be Working 4 You!

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