Report: Plea deal offered to man accused of raping and killing Tennessee prison administrator

Report: Plea deal offered to man accused of raping and killing Tennessee prison administrator

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WMC) - Prosecutors have offered the man accused of raping and killing a Tennessee prison administrator a plea deal, according to our Nashville NBC affiliate, WSMV.

Curtis Watson wrote letters to the station and shared correspondence from his public defender that mentions an offer of a plea deal based on DNA evidence found at the home of Debra Johnson.

WSMV cites a source close to the investigation who they say confirmed the offer.

Prosecutors say Watson raped and murdered Johnson in her home on prison grounds in August 2019 before leading law enforcement on a manhunt.

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An investigator previously testified DNA evidence found at Johnson’s home was consistent with Watson’s, but WSMV reports a letter from Watson’s public defender says that’s not the case and it could help them at trial.

The letters advise Watson to take the offer for “essentially life without parole.”

In Watson’s letter to WSMV, he writes, “I did some wrong that day of August 7th” with regard to his escape, but “I did not do that to Ms. Johnson. Course even with the DNA finding no one still will not believe me.”

In February, Lauderdale County District Attorney General Mark Davidson announced he would seek the death penalty.

Neither Davidson nor Watson’s public defender would not confirm with WSMV that a plea deal was offered, but Davidson said DNA evidence did not exclude Watson as a suspect.

Family shares letters from prison inmate Curtis Watson

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