2 convicted killers mistakenly released in FL - WNCN: News, Weather

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>>

  • 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
  • Abercrombie dropping logo to boost brand

    Abercrombie dropping logo to boost brand

    Friday, August 29 2014 7:15 AM EDT2014-08-29 11:15:46 GMT
    The Abercrombie & Fitch logo has lost the power it once wielded, so the struggling teen retailer plans to strip off the once-prized logo from its clothing. Shares tumbled Thursday after it reported weak sales as more teens shop elsewhere. 
    The Abercrombie & Fitch logo has lost the power it once wielded, so the struggling teen retailer plans to strip off the once-prized logo from its clothing. Shares tumbled Thursday after it reported weak sales as more teens shop elsewhere. 
  • NewsMore>>

  • Pedestrian hit on U.S. 19 in Pasco County

    Pedestrian hit on U.S. 19 in Pasco County

    Sunday, August 31 2014 11:53 PM EDT2014-09-01 03:53:50 GMT
    A pedestrian was hit while walking west on US Highway 19 south of Fivay Road Saturday night. A 2008 Chevy Cobalt driven by Mikola D. Batov of Hudson was traveling north on U.S. 19 in the center lane, approaching Fivay Road shortly before 10 p.m....
    A pedestrian was hit while walking west on US Highway 19 south of Fivay Road Saturday night. A 2008 Chevy Cobalt driven by Mikola D. Batov of Hudson was traveling north on U.S. 19 in the center lane, approaching Fivay Road shortly before 10 p.m....
  • Coast Guard rescues 3 from sinking vessel

    Coast Guard rescues 3 from sinking vessel

    Sunday, August 31 2014 11:33 PM EDT2014-09-01 03:33:04 GMT
    Three adults were rescued by a U.S. Coast Guard crew after their 37-foot boat began taking on water eight miles west of Bean Point on Anna Maria Island Sunday.About 3:50 p.m Sunday, officials at the Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg were notified via a marine band radio about a boat taking on water from a six-inch hole in the hull....
    ?Three adults were rescued by a U.S. Coast Guard crew after their 37-foot boat began taking on water eight miles west of Bean Point on Anna Maria Island Sunday.About 3:50 p.m Sunday, officials at the Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg were notified via a marine band radio about a boat taking on water from a six-inch hole in the hull....
  • Pilot dies in plane crash near downtown St. Pete

    Pilot dies in plane crash near downtown St. Pete

    Sunday, August 31 2014 9:31 PM EDT2014-09-01 01:31:45 GMT
    Rescue boaters are on the scene of a downed banner plane near Albert Whitted Airport.Rescue boaters are on the scene of a downed banner plane near Albert Whitted Airport.
    The pilot of a banner plane that crashed into the water near Albert Whitted Airport has died, St. Petersburg police officials said. Divers and emergency personnel from the St. Petersburg police, U.S. Coast Guard and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission were on the scene of the crash that occurred in the water about 3 p.m. Sunday.. ...
    The pilot of a banner plane that crashed into the water near Albert Whitted Airport has died, St. Petersburg police officials said. Divers and emergency personnel from the St. Petersburg police, U.S. Coast Guard and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission were on the scene of the crash that occurred in the water about 3 p.m. Sunday.. ...

  • 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>>

  • 'Party mansion' in North Raleigh sells for $1 million

    'Party mansion' in North Raleigh sells for $1 million

    Tuesday, August 26 2014 12:42 PM EDT2014-08-26 16:42:52 GMT
    File photoFile photo
    A North Raleigh house commonly referred to as “the party mansion” sold last month for $1 million.
    A North Raleigh house commonly referred to as “the party mansion” sold last month for $1 million.
  • Home improvements that really pay off

    Home improvements that really pay off

    Saturday, July 19 2014 6:30 AM EDT2014-07-19 10:30:09 GMT
    Despite what you see on TV and what the conventional wisdom says, most of the home improvement projects with the greatest return on investment are unglamorous.
    Despite what you see on TV and what the conventional wisdom says, most of the home improvement projects with the greatest return on investment are unglamorous.
  • 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

1205 Front St., Raleigh
N.C., 27609

Telephone: 919.836.1717
Fax: 919.836.1687
Email: newstips@wncn.com

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