Inmate walks away from work site at Missouri State Fair

Missouri Department of Corrections Mugshot of Shannon Watts

The Missouri Department of Corrections is reporting that at approximately 12:45 a.m. Monday, August 19, offender Shannon Dewayne Watts, Department of Corrections No. 1107639, a minimum-security inmate assigned to Tipton Correctional Center, walked away from a Missouri State Fair work site at the Missouri State Fairgrounds in Sedalia, Missouri, while on work release.

The Corrections Emergency Response Team (CERT) was activated and assisted local law enforcement and the Missouri State Highway Patrol in a thorough search of the fairgrounds, concluding at 6:15 a.m. Monday. Watts was not found on the fairgrounds. Local law enforcement and the Missouri State Highway Patrol continue to work with the Department of Corrections to apprehend the offender.

Watts, a 34-year-old white male, is 6 feet tall and weighs 195 pounds. He has brown hair and brown eyes. Missourians are asked to contact local law enforcement or the Missouri State Highway Patrol if they see him.

Watts is serving a sentence for second-degree burglary, two counts of first-degree burglary, three counts of forgery, two counts of possession of a controlled substance, two counts of resisting arrest, two counts of tampering with a motor vehicle, possession of a firearm, and leaving the scene of an accident in Greene County, as well as two counts of resisting arrest in Tane County. He was received by the Missouri Department of Corrections on July 29, 2015. He previously was incarcerated from Sept. 9, 2012, to April 22, 2014.

Sunday, August 18, marked the final day of the 11-day Missouri State Fair. All year, teams of minimum-security work-release offenders perform maintenance and other work under close supervision at the fairgrounds. Larger teams are tapped during the fair to help with setup, cleanup, grounds-keeping, and other duties.

  • Missouri State Highway Patrol Headquarters: 573-751-3313
  • Sedalia Police Department: 660-826-8100