2 convicted killers mistakenly released in FL - WFLA News Channel 8

2 convicted killers mistakenly released in FL

Posted: Updated:
Escaped Killer Joseph Jenkins was mistakenly released from prison Escaped Killer Joseph Jenkins was mistakenly released from prison
Convicted killed Charles Walker was mistakenly released from prison Convicted killed Charles Walker was mistakenly released from prison
ORLANDO, FL -

Two convicted killers serving life in a Florida prison were mistakenly freed in the last three weeks after forged court documents reduced their sentences, authorities said. Relatives picked up one inmate while the other was given a bus ticket and dropped off at a bus station.

Now a manhunt is on for Joseph Jenkins and Charles Walker, both 34, who were released separately from the Carrabelle prison in the Panhandle. Jenkins was let out Sept. 27; Walker was freed Oct. 8.

"These two individuals are out. They shouldn't be, and we want to get them back in custody," sheriff's office spokesman Angelo Nieves said. "This shouldn't have happened, but it did, and our concern is to get these individuals into custody."

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement learned about the mistake Tuesday, though it's not clear exactly how authorities found out about the error.

Jenkins was found guilty of first-degree murder in the 1998 killing of an Orlando man. Jenkins and his cousin, Angelo Pearson, were convicted in the shooting death of Roscue Pugh.

RELATED CONTENT:
Manatee County Featured Fugitives

Upon hearing of the Jenkins' release, his former attorney, Bob Wesley, said he was sure "it wasn't a cunning master plan."

Wesley, now an Orlando public defender, recalled his client's crime and said Jenkins broke into a home of someone he knew and was "not smart enough to pull his ski mask down."

Walker was convicted of second-degree murder in a 1999 slaying in Orange County. He told investigators that 23-year-old Cedric Slater was bullying him and he fired three shots intending to scare him.

Walker's then-defense attorney, Robert LeBlanc, now a judge in Orlando, refused to comment.

The Florida Department of Corrections said the men were released from the Carrabelle prison based on forged documents filed through the Orange County clerk of courts.

One man was picked up by his family and the other was given a bus ticket and brought to a bus station by the Department of Corrections, spokeswoman Misty Cash said. She said prison officials routinely work with inmates who are getting out to make sure they get to their next destination.

"If they need a bus ticket, we'll provide that for them," she said.

She wasn't sure which inmate got the bus ticket.

In both cases, the forged paperwork included motions from an Orlando prosecutor to correct "illegal" sentences, accompanied by orders granting the motions from Chief Circuit Judge Belvin Perry, who presided over the Casey Anthony murder trial in 2011.

Leesa Bainbridge, a spokeswoman for the Orange County clerk of courts, said the office moves thousands of pages of court documents a day and currently has no way of authenticating those that pass through to other agencies.

"We're kind of like the post office," Bainbridge said. "It comes in and we move it along."

In a statement, Corrections Secretary Michael Crews said his agency was "conducting a vigorous and thorough review of releases that were based on modified court orders received from Orange County to ensure that there are no other inmates who have been released based on falsified documents."

State, county and prison authorities were searching for the men.

"We're working with other law enforcement partners on how this could have happened, but right now our primary focus is on the manhunt," said FDLE spokeswoman Gretl Plessinger. "We are in the very early stages of the investigation to determine what happened."
 
Don’t miss out on the day’s top Facebook conversations
http://on.fb.me/18y81Cl


  • 8 On Your SideMore>>

  • FL vehicle registration renewal fees drop

    FL vehicle registration renewal fees drop

    Monday, September 1 2014 11:48 AM EDT2014-09-01 15:48:49 GMT
    That little gift you get from the state on your birthday every year, to renew your car tag, is going to be cheaper starting Monday.  The cut will save drivers about $13 to $25 depending on the size of their vehicle.
    That little gift you get from the state on your birthday every year, to renew your car tag, is going to be cheaper starting Monday.  The cut will save drivers about $13 to $25 depending on the size of their vehicle.
  • Mold takes over St. Pete condo, creeps into neighbors' homes

    Mold takes over St. Pete condo, creeps into neighbors' homes

    Friday, August 29 2014 5:48 PM EDT2014-08-29 21:48:06 GMT
    Josephine Ramos is literally sick about the toxic black mold growing in the St. Petersburg condominium beside hers. She's been feeling ill for months with headaches and breathing problems. Recently, she had peak inside the condo next doors and couldn't believe her eyes.
    Josephine Ramos is literally sick about the toxic black mold growing in the St. Petersburg condominium beside hers. She's been feeling ill for months with headaches and breathing problems. Recently, she had peak inside the condo next doors and couldn't believe her eyes.
  • Lakeland neighborhood has continuing water problems, asks 8OYS for help

    Lakeland neighborhood has continuing water problems, asks 8OYS for help

    Friday, August 29 2014 5:03 PM EDT2014-08-29 21:03:34 GMT
    Some Lakeland residents are tired of wondering whether they'll have water at home. Over the past month, they tell 8 On Your Side that they've lost water with no warning at least five times. And what's worse, the water stays off for up to eight hours at a time
    Some Lakeland residents are tired of wondering whether they'll have water at home. Over the past month, they tell 8 On Your Side that they've lost water with no warning at least five times. And what's worse, the water stays off for up to eight hours at a time
  • NewsMore>>

  • Bubba 'The Love Sponge' to announce new Tampa gig

    Bubba 'The Love Sponge' to announce new Tampa gig

    Monday, September 1 2014 3:09 PM EDT2014-09-01 19:09:07 GMT
    File photo of Bubba the Love Sponge ClemFile photo of Bubba the Love Sponge Clem
    Bubba "The Love Sponge" announced on his Twitter page Monday that he will soon have a new Tampa home.
    Bubba "The Love Sponge" announced on his Twitter page Monday that he will soon have a new Tampa home.
  • St. Petersburg plane pulled from Tampa Bay after Sunday crash

    St. Petersburg plane pulled from Tampa Bay after Sunday crash

    Monday, September 1 2014 3:08 PM EDT2014-09-01 19:08:34 GMT
    The plane that crashed in Tampa Bay, off the coast of St. Petersburg Sunday,has been recovered.A recovery team started work early this morning. It took hours to bring the plane up from about 25 feet under water. The company that owns the plane, Aerial Banner, Inc., sent company representatives to St. Petersburg.
    The plane that crashed in Tampa Bay, off the coast of St. Petersburg Sunday,has been recovered.A recovery team started work early this morning. It took hours to bring the plane up from about 25 feet under water. The company that owns the plane, Aerial Banner, Inc., sent company representatives to St. Petersburg.
  • Scott and Crist bash each other at campaign events

    Scott and Crist bash each other at campaign events

    Monday, September 1 2014 3:02 PM EDT2014-09-01 19:02:31 GMT
    Florida's increasingly bitter and expensive campaign for governor is kicking into gear with two months left before Election Day.Gov. Rick Scott began a two-week bus tour along the crucial Interstate 4 corridor, where he railed against former Gov. Charlie Crist as someone who is just like President Barack Obama.
    Florida's increasingly bitter and expensive campaign for governor is kicking into gear with two months left before Election Day.Gov. Rick Scott began a two-week bus tour along the crucial Interstate 4 corridor, where he railed against former Gov. Charlie Crist as someone who is just like President Barack Obama.
  • Sign up for WFLA News Channel 8 Email Alerts

    * denotes required fields






    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Jennifer Lawrence requests nude pics investigation

    Jennifer Lawrence requests nude pics investigation

    Monday, September 1 2014 1:56 PM EDT2014-09-01 17:56:41 GMT
    Oscar-winner Jennifer Lawrence and other female actresses lashed out against an online bulletin board that posted what it claimed was compromising pictures of them.
    Oscar-winner Jennifer Lawrence and other female actresses lashed out against an online bulletin board that posted what it claimed was compromising pictures of them.
  • FL vehicle registration renewal fees drop

    FL vehicle registration renewal fees drop

    Monday, September 1 2014 11:48 AM EDT2014-09-01 15:48:49 GMT
    That little gift you get from the state on your birthday every year, to renew your car tag, is going to be cheaper starting Monday.  The cut will save drivers about $13 to $25 depending on the size of their vehicle.
    That little gift you get from the state on your birthday every year, to renew your car tag, is going to be cheaper starting Monday.  The cut will save drivers about $13 to $25 depending on the size of their vehicle.
  • Restaurant Ratings Most Violations: August 18 - 23

    Restaurant Ratings Most Violations: August 18 - 23

    Friday, August 29 2014 5:58 PM EDT2014-08-29 21:58:28 GMT
    Ever wonder what goes on in the kitchen of your favorite restaurants?
    Ever wonder what goes on in the kitchen of your favorite restaurants?
Powered by WorldNow

200 South Parker Street, Tampa, FL 33606

Telephone: 813.228.8888
Fax: 813.225.2770
Email: news@wfla.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.