Forged paperwork suspected in release of 2 murderers from prison

Oct. 17, 2013 at 3:54 PM

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Oct. 17 (UPI) -- Authorities said they were hunting for two convicted murderers mistakenly freed separately from a Florida prison, apparently thanks to forged paperwork.

The Orange County Sheriff's office said Charles Walker, 34, serving a life sentence for second-degree murder, was released from the Franklin Correctional Institution in Carrabelle Tuesday. Joseph Jenkins, also 34, serving a life term for first-degree murder, was let loose Sept. 27.

Florida Corrections Department Secretary Michael Crews issued a statement Wednesday night saying prison officials were hoodwinked by phony paperwork appearing to have come from the Orange County Clerk of Courts into thinking the convicts' sentences had been reduced to 15 years, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

"I don't know how it happened," Corrections Department spokeswoman Jessica Cary told the Sentinel.

Both fugitives remained at large.

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