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


  • NewsMore>>

  • Restaurant Buzz: Free McDonald's breakfast, steakhouse closes, Tampa Ferg's

    Restaurant Buzz: Free McDonald's breakfast, steakhouse closes, Tampa Ferg's

    Saturday, April 19 2014 10:17 AM EDT2014-04-19 14:17:16 GMT
    A Ferg's Sports Bar & Grill is scheduled to open across the street from the TBT Forum in August. Facebook photoA Ferg's Sports Bar & Grill is scheduled to open across the street from the TBT Forum in August. Facebook photo
    No doubt, dining out is a popular pastime here in Tampa Bay. We're here to keep you informed. Here's this week's "dish" about what's happening at Tampa Bay restaurants.
    No doubt, dining out is a popular pastime here in Tampa Bay. We're here to keep you informed. Here's this week's "dish" about what's happening at Tampa Bay restaurants.
  • Captain of sunken SKorean ferry, 2 crew arrested

    Captain of sunken SKorean ferry, 2 crew arrested

    Saturday, April 19 2014 9:41 AM EDT2014-04-19 13:41:52 GMT
    The captain of the ferry that sank off South Korea, leaving more than 300 missing or dead, was arrested early Saturday on suspicion of negligence and abandoning people in need. Two crew members also were taken into...
    The captain of the ferry that sank off South Korea, leaving more than 300 missing or dead, was arrested Saturday on suspicion of negligence and abandoning people in need. Two crew members also were taken into custody,...
  • Sleeping Sarasota woman killed when car slams into home

    Sleeping Sarasota woman killed when car slams into home

    Saturday, April 19 2014 9:34 AM EDT2014-04-19 13:34:06 GMT
    The car struck the home early Saturday morning. The car struck the home early Saturday morning.
    A 62-year-old Sarasota woman was killed early Saturday morning when a fleeing suspect crashed her vehicle into a home.Eleanor Ball, who was sleeping in a back bedroom at the time, died at the scene. The incident occurred at approximately 3:30 a.m.
    A 62-year-old Sarasota woman was killed early Saturday morning when a fleeing suspect crashed her vehicle into a home.Eleanor Ball, who was sleeping in a back bedroom at the time, died at the scene. The incident occurred at approximately 3:30 a.m.
  • Sign up for WFLA News Channel 8 Email Alerts

    * denotes required fields






    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
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.