Trial in killing of Tennessee prison official moved to 2021

Tennessee

Curtis Watson is escorted into a preliminary hearing Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019, in Ripley, Tenn. Watson is charged with murdering Tennessee Department of Correction department administrator Debra Johnson after he escaped from the West Tennessee State Penitentiary in August. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, Pool)

RIPLEY, Tenn. (AP) — The trial of a Tennessee convict charged with killing a corrections official before escaping prison on a tractor has been delayed until next year.

Curtis Watson had been scheduled to face trial Oct. 26 in the killing of Tennessee Department of Correction administrator Debra Johnson.

Her body was found in her home on the grounds of a state prison in August 2019.

Watson is charged with premeditated murder, rape and escape. He has not entered a plea.

Watson’s lawyer, David Stockton, said a judge moved the trial to Sept. 20, 2021.

Stockton said he hasn’t had face-to-face contact with Watson since March due to coronavirus-related policies.

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