Broward News

Florida Prisoners Mistakenly Freed Caught in Panama City

The two convicts that were released from a Florida prison by accident were caught over the weekend, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement announced.

Joseph Jenkins and Charles Walker were found at a Coconut Grove Motor Inn in Panama City Beach on Saturday evening and were immediately taken into custody.

See also: Florida Prison Mistakenly Frees Two Inmates

Jenkins and Walker had arrived to the Panama City area around Wednesday. Police and Marshals were able to track them down after interviewing friends and relatives who had visited them in prison. Police then put the two men under surveillance.

According to authorities, around 20 members of the Bay County Sheriff's office task force surrounded the motel room on Saturday evening. They relayed a message through g a PA system telling the two men to come out.

Jenkins and Walker came out almost immediately, and were arrested without incident.

Jenkins, 34, was serving a life sentence for first-degree murder in 1998. Walker, 34, was serving a life sentence for a second-degree murder committed in 1999.

In September 1998, Jenkins and his cousin shot and killed Roscoe Pugh, 28, a father of six, during a home invasion.

In April 1999, Walker shot and killed 23-year-old Cedric Slater. At the time, Walker told investigators that Slater had been harassing and bullying him and that the shots fired were intended to frighten him.

But both men are able to escape prison thanks to falsifying documents from the Orange County Clerk of Courts.

Authorities believe the men paid someone $8,000 for the forged documents. Police aren't sure if this person was in the prison system, or some one on the outside, but are investigating and anticipate arresting whoever is behind the phony paperwork.

Jenkins and Walker are expected to appear before a judge on October 25.

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Chris Joseph
Contact: Chris Joseph