Manhunt continues nationwide for 2 escaped killers
The Florida Department of Corrections said orders that modify inmate sentences will have to be verified by a judge before they’re carried out.
The Orlando Sentinel
ORLANDO, Fla. — As authorities continued their nationwide manhunt for two murderers accused of conning their way out of lifetime prison sentences, corrections officials announced a policy change Friday intended to ensure they don’t get fooled again.
Officials also confirmed that Charles Walker and Joseph Jenkins walked into the Orange County Jail days after they got out of prison, not to turn themselves in, but to re-enter society.
Jenkins and Walker, both 34, arrived at the jail Sept. 30 and Oct. 11, respectively, to register as felons, a requirement for newly released convicts that includes getting fingerprinted.
Within days, authorities would realize the two never should have gotten out of prison: Corrections officials had been duped by fraudulent court orders that said their sentences had been reduced.
The Florida Department of Corrections told judges across the state that, in light of the forgeries, orders that modify inmate sentences will now have to be verified by a judge before they’re carried out.
“In light of the potential for fraudulent use of court papers, we believe that the additional step ... is an important safeguard,” corrections Secretary Michael Crews said in a letter to the state’s chief judges.
Crews did not respond to additional questions.
Jenkins was serving a life sentence for first-degree murder of a father of six in 1998; Walker for a second-degree murder conviction in 1999.