Fake Paperwork Leads to Freedom for Florida Lifers
by Derek Dowekk
It reads like a Hollywood movie or maybe a cable television series. Charles Walker and Joseph Jenkins used forged documents that reduced their life sentences to 15 years to fool Florida Department of Law Enforcement prison officials into turning the pair loose. Authorities said that seven prisoners have tried a similar tactic in recent years but these two actually made it work.
Jenkins was released on September 27 and Walker set free on October 8. Jenkins had tried the ruse before, in 2011, but it failed. The convicted murderers were recaptured Saturday in a Panama City motel and placed back in maximum security incarceration in separate locations. Prison officials are convinced the escapees had outside help but, so far, the two aren’t talking, on advice from their lawyers.
Prison officials are understandably concerned about how it looks to the public when dangerous criminals emerge on the streets and are intent on uncovering if whether or not they had inside help. So far, no evidence suggests that is the case. The Corrections Department is also taking a hard look at their prisoner release process, with Chief Circuit Judge Belvin Perry signing an order Monday that ceases the practice of leaving judicial orders in drop-boxes.
(Image: Flickr | PunkJr)