Funeral services for slain TDOC employee to be held Friday


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) —  Family, friends and colleagues will gather Friday to say their final goodbyes to the Tennessee Department of Correction employee killed last week.  

The funeral for Debra Johnson will be held at Temple Church on Kings Lane in North Nashville.  

Services are scheduled to begin at noon for the 38-year-veteran of the department who was murdered last Wednesday at her home on the grounds of the West Tennessee State Penitentiary. 

Investigators said Johnson was strangled and sexually assaulted by Curtis Watson, who was captured Sunday after a five-day manhunt. 

A visitation was held Thursday at her home church of 15th Avenue Baptist Church.  

Johnson’s family was greeted by members of the Correctional Peace Officer Foundation. 

She made the two-hour trip to church every Sunday where she was an usher.  

“She loved everybody. She came in with a big hug every Sunday when she came in, she was just a person you won’t meet again. It’s rocked every last one of us. It’s just bad. or someone to come from Henning, on the weekends to see their parents, their children and fall in that door and fall in line with ushers, that says a lot for you [on Debra Johnson]” said Janis Williams, also an usher at 15th Avenue Baptist Church. 

News 2 will host a fundraiser Monday for the family of Johnson. All day, we will be collecting donations for Johnson’s family at 15th Avenue Baptist Church. Checks should be made payable to Debra Johnson’s family or you can make a donation at any Regions Bank in Middle Tennessee.

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