Florida inmates released by mistake captured in Panama City
Convicted murderers Joseph Jenkins and Charles Walker, freed from a Florida prison by phony documents, were captured together without incident Saturday night in Panama City.
Two convicted killers who were freed from prison by phony documents were captured together without incident Saturday night at a Panama City motel, authorities said.
Joseph Jenkins and Charles Walker, both 34, were taken into custody about 6:40 p.m. at Coconut Grove Motor Inn. They were apprehended just a couple of hours after their family members held a news conference urging the men to turn themselves in.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement did not immediately release any other details about their capture or investigation.
Jenkins was found guilty of first-degree murder in the 1998 killing and botched robbery of Roscoe Pugh, an Orlando man. It was Pugh's family that contacted the prosecutor's office earlier this week and told them Jenkins had been released, setting off a manhunt.
The prosecutor's office also discovered Walker had been mistakenly released. Walker was convicted of second-degree murder in the 1999 Orange County slaying of 23-year-old Cedric Slater.
Jenkins and Walker were both serving life sentences.
The bogus paperwork, complete with case numbers and a judge's forged signature, reduced their sentences to 15 years.
Jenkins was released Sept. 27 and Walker was set free Oct. 8.
Family members and friends of the men said Saturday they initially thought their release was legitimate and spent time with them, even planning a birthday party for one.
Three days after both men were released, they went to an Orlando jail and registered as felons, as required by law.
They filled out paperwork, had their photographs taken and were even fingerprinted. By doing this, authorities said they didn't raise any alarms.