UPDATE: 2 convicted murderers mistakenly freed
UPDATE: 11:17 a.m. Sunday
A tip from an acquaintance of two convicted murderers who were mistakenly released from prison led to their arrests at a Florida motel, the commissioner of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement said Sunday.
Charles Walker and Joseph Jenkins were unarmed when they were taken into custody Saturday evening in Panama City, where they were waiting for their ride to arrive from Atlanta, Gerald Bailey said. It was unclear where the men expected to go, he said.
He said a “close associate” informed authorities that the men were in the area. Bailey said they were arrested without incident at the Coconut Grove Motor Inn. They had been in Bay County for only 48 hours, he said.
Walker and Jenkins will be held without bail and make their next court appearances Friday, a Bay County, Florida, judge said Sunday.
He said the two will be held with probable cause for one count each of escape.
The state Department of Corrections — which mistakenly released the men, though it has insisted it was through no fault of its own — said little about the arrests.
UPDATE: 6:50 p.m. Saturday, Oct 19th
Freed inmates captured.
FLORIDA - The state of Florida is asking for help in locating two former prison inmates that they realized should still be current inmates.
Charles Walker and Joseph Jenkins, both 34, are considered “escapees” by authorities, but their prison break wasn’t exactly a scene out of “The Shawshank Redemption.”
Walker and Jenkins — both convicted murderers — separately walked out of the Franklin Correctional Institution located on Florida’s panhandle “in accordance with Department of Corrections policy and procedure,” according to Department of Corrections Secretary Michael Crews.
“However, both of their releases were based on fraudulent modifications that had been made to court orders,” he said.
Authorities would not elaborate. Law enforcement learned of the situation Tuesday.
Walker, who was freed October 8, and Jenkins, freed on September 27, are former residents of Orlando, and the Orange County Sheriff’s Office worries that at least one of them, but perhaps both of them, may have returned.
“They committed violent crimes,” Capt. Angelo Nieves told CNN. “The best thing for them to do is to turn themselves in.”