Florida Cops Nab Prisoners Freed By Mistake
Officials trying to figure out what went wrong
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 20, 2013 6:38 AM CDT
Lillie Danzy, left, mother of escaped inmate Charles Walker, standing next to attorney Rhonda Henderson, right, makes a plea for her son to turn himself in to authorities during a news conference at the...   (John Raoux)

(Newser) – Police recaptured two convicted killers who were freed from a Florida prison by phony documents, and authorities shifted attention to finding out who was responsible for the mistaken releases that rocked the state's judicial system. Joseph Jenkins and Charles Walker, both 34, were captured last night without incident at the Coconut Grove Motor Inn in Panama City Beach, a touristy area of putt-putt courses and go-kart tracks. Hours earlier, their families had held a news conference urging them to surrender. "Now that we have them in custody, we're hoping to get something from the interviews with them," Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Gerald Bailey said.

Jenkins and Walker were both serving life sentences at the Franklin Correctional Facility before they walked free without anyone realizing the paperwork, complete with case numbers and a judge's forged signature, was bogus. The documents seemingly reduced their life sentences to 15 years. Walker had been in prison since his conviction of second-degree murder in the 1999 Orange County slaying of 23-year-old Cedric Slater. Like Jenkins, he registered at the Orange County jail three days after his release without raising any alarms. He knocked around town and went to church last Sunday. But at some point, he and Jenkins went underground.

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Showing 3 of 6 comments
Oct 20, 2013 1:30 PM CDT
Assuredly their mothers are shouting out their boys would never commit a crime and were on their way to becoming rap stars until that evil law enforcement accused and falsely convicted them of crimes they never could nor would do. Sadly, there ARE too many incidents of innocent folks unable to prove innocence and serve time they never should have served.
Oct 20, 2013 11:46 AM CDT
Someone who knew how the judicial system works, helped them. I am sure that "authorities" will find out very soon, as they don't have cameras and control as to what is going on during prison interrogation. They physically abuse the prisoners and wonder why those guys coming out are bigger threat, than they were upon release. When you add to it, corrupted probation officer who can do whatever he wants with them, you got the picture. They will never be rehabilitated, not all of them are vicious killers but they make them once before they get out and that's all they care about because the prison system needs the "customers" back.
Oct 20, 2013 9:33 AM CDT
Whatever happened to the staff that let these two escape?