Sat 9:25pm: Authorities capture 2 Fla. prisoners at motel
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Two convicted killers who were freed from prison by phony documents were captured together without incident tonight at a Panama City motel, authorities said.
Joseph Jenkins and Charles Walker, both 34, were taken into custody about 6:40 p.m. at the Coconut Grove Motor Inn. They were apprehended several 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 its investigation.
A woman who answered the phone at the motel said she saw police coming and they went into room 227. The woman, who didn’t want to give her name, said authorities didn’t stop by the office before they moved in.
Jenkins and Walker were both serving life sentences at the Franklin Correctional Facility in the Panhandle before they were released. The bogus paperwork, complete with case numbers and a judge’s forged signature, duped prison officials and 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 today they initially thought their release was legitimate and spent time with them, planning a birthday party for one and going to church with the other.
Both men went to an Orlando jail after their release 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.