WUFT News

Authorities Suspect At Least Six Inmates Attempted Escape With Forged Documents

By on October 22nd, 2013

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — At least six inmates in Florida have used forged documents in attempts to escape from prison, including two killers who were mistakenly freed because of the paperwork, authorities said Tuesday.

Police said they were looking at several suspects in the investigation of the escape of Joseph Jenkins and Charles Walker, but so far they have made no arrests. Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Gerald Bailey said the prisoners were not cooperating.

“In law enforcement terms, they’ve lawyered up,” Bailey said. “But we will find the details of what led to these escapes without their help, but should they choose to cooperate, we will have the answers that we need, the answers that we demand sooner rather than later.”

Jenkins and Walker were let out of a Panhandle prison on Sept. 27 and Oct. 8, respectively, because of fake paperwork that reduced their life sentences to 15 years, authorities said. Jenkins had tried to escape using bogus documents before, Bailey said.

Jenkins and Walker were captured Saturday at a Panama City motel. Authorities found an iPad and cellphone there, and they were reviewing them for evidence. Police also want to know how the men got to the motel and who was coming from Atlanta to take them somewhere else.

Besides the forged documents, forensic examiners were looking at computers and printers seized from the prison. So far, there is no indication that any Department of Corrections workers helped the inmates with their escape, but investigators are still looking at any possibilities of an inside job, Bailey said.

“There is no hard evidence that has happened,” he said. “If there were, there would be an arrest.”

The mistaken release led the Corrections Department to change its policy for early prisoner releases. It also caused the chief judge in the judicial circuit that covers Orange and Osceola counties in metro Orlando to change how orders are filed in the clerks of courts offices. The forged paperwork that led to the release of Jenkins and Walker was filed in the Orange County Clerk of Courts office.

Chief Circuit Judge Belvin Perry signed an order Monday that prohibits judicial orders from being accepted at drop-off boxes. His order also requires judicial assistants to keep a log of all orders to change an inmate’s prison sentence.

When the clerk’s office gets an order to change a sentence, the clerk must verify with the judge or judicial assistant that the order was issued, according to the new measures.


This entry was posted in Crime and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
 

More Stories in Crime

Mugshot

Suspects Involved In Armed Robbery Arrested On UF Campus

Two people were arrested for armed robbery and assault in Gainesville after a car chase and manhunt on the University of Florida campus. The suspects are being charged with armed robbery, aggravated assault and other additional pending charges.


unnamed-1

Undercover Program Targets Underage Sales Of Alcohol

The Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco has a program where students go undercover to curb businesses selling alcohol to minors. Some feel that this program is ineffective at catching people who regularly sell to minors.


GPD and UF Report Prowling And Exposure Incident

GPD has reported and incident of prowling and exposure in the Gainesville area. The incident occurred on Thursday morning.


COP 2014 group photo

Gainesville’s Citizen On Patrol Program Expands, Deters Crime

Gainesville’s Citizens on Patrol program, which began in 2010, is working to expand from a modest 10-person unit to the likes of Citrus County’s COP program which currently boasts around 500 volunteers.


Sneak and Puk

Two UF Baseball Players Arrested For Trespassing Released From Jail

Two pitchers for UF’s baseball team were arrested for trespassing on a construction site late Sunday night. William “Kirby” Snead and A.J. Puk were released from the Alachua County Jail on Tuesday.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Underwriting Payments