Published October 17, 2013
Authorities are searching for two convicted murderers who were mistakenly released from a Florida Panhandle prison because of erroneous paperwork.
The Orlando Sentinel reported that Charles Walker and Joseph Jenkins, both 34, were released from the Franklin Correctional Institution in Carrabelle after officials received forged paperwork indicating the men's sentences had been reduced.
Walker, who was released Tuesday was serving a life sentence in connection with a 1999 killing. Jenkins, who left the prison Sept. 27, was serving a life sentence in the 1998 murder of a father of six children in Orlando, the newspaper reported.
Department of Corrections spokeswoman Jessica Cary said state corrections officials acted on the court documents, not realizing they were falsified. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement has launched an investigation into the falsified documents.
Florida Department of Corrections Secretary Michael Crews said in a statement to WOGX-TV that the agency is reviewing the releases to make sure that no other inmates have been released based on falsified documents.
"The top priority of the department is the safety of Florida families and we'll continue working with law enforcement to ensure these men are returned to custody," Crews said.