Tags: US | Prison | Mistaken | Release

Two Florida Men Mistakenly Released from Prison

Image: Two Florida Men Mistakenly Released from Prison Charles Walker, left, and Joseph Jenkins.

Thursday, 17 Oct 2013 01:50 PM

 

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
Florida authorities searched on Thursday for two convicted murderers released from prison based on forged court documents that indicated their life sentences had been reduced, state corrections officials said.

The forged signature of a high-profile judge who presides in the county where the men committed their crimes was used to dupe prison officials into freeing them, a court official confirmed.

Joseph Jenkins and Charles Walker, both 34, were released from the Franklin Correctional Institution in Carrabelle, Florida, on Sept. 27 and Oct. 8, respectively.

Both were serving life terms - Walker for second-degree murder in 1999 in Orange County, and Jenkins for first-degree murder in 1998 of a father of six in Orlando, the Orlando Sentinel said.

"There were court documents that said they could be released and so, that is what the department used," said Florida Department of Corrections spokeswoman Misty Cash.

But officials realized this week that the convicts should still be behind bars because "those documents were fraudulently modified," Cash said.

A court spokeswoman in Orange County, Florida, where the men were convicted, said someone signed Judge Belvin Perry's name on two official-looking documents granting their release. The faked court orders granted motions to correct illegal sentences for each inmate and cited case law in support of the reduced prison terms.

"Both documents were forged," court spokeswoman Karen Levey said. "Judge Perry did not sign either release order. We don't know how it happened."

Perry gained national recognition when he presided over the 2011 trial of Casey Anthony, the young mother acquitted in the death of her 2-year-old daughter Caylee.

A spokeswoman for the Orange County clerk's office said the paperwork passed through that department and was forwarded to the state corrections department.

The origin of the documents is unclear. The paperwork was not emailed to the clerk but may have been mailed or dropped off at the office, she said.

"We don't know where it came from. It passed through here on its way to corrections," clerk spokeswoman Leesa Bainbridge said.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating the circumstances surrounding the inmates' release, the Orange County Sheriff's Office said.

At least one of the suspects might have returned to Orange County, the sheriff's office said.

"Our main priority right now is public safety and making sure that these two guys are apprehended and put back where they're supposed to be," Cash said.

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Cop Killer's Commencement Address Angers Officer's Widow

Tuesday, 30 Sep 2014 23:17 PM

The decision to allow a man serving a life sentence for killing a police officer in 1981 to deliver a college commenceme . . .

Michelle Bachmann: 'Impossible' Obama Didn't Know About ISIS

Tuesday, 30 Sep 2014 21:21 PM

It is "absolutely impossible" President Barack Obama was unaware how powerful the Islamic State (ISIS) had become before . . .

Prosecutor: Okla. Beheading Suspect 'Didn't Like White People'

Tuesday, 30 Sep 2014 21:35 PM

An Oklahoma man who could face the death penalty for allegedly beheading a co-worker was suspended from his job after te . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved