Inmate who walked away from work at Missouri State Fair apprehended

Missouri Department of Corrections Mugshot of Shannon Watts

Shannon Dewayne Watts, a Tipton Correctional Center inmate who walked away from his work site at the Missouri State Fair after completing his work-release job late Sunday night, has been apprehended.

At 11:20 p.m. Monday, Aug. 19, Pettis County Dispatch reported Watts had been found unconscious with apparent head injuries near Highway B between Sedalia and Green Ridge, Missouri. He was transported by helicopter to an area hospital, where he currently is being treated.

Watts, a 34-year-old minimum-security offender, had been missing since approximately 12:45 a.m. Monday, Aug. 19. The Corrections Emergency Response Team (CERT), local law enforcement and the Missouri State Highway Patrol conducted a thorough search of the fairgrounds and then, with the aid of the corrections dog team, expanded the search throughout the area.

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, Aug. 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 season to help with setup, cleanup, grounds-keeping, and other duties.