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Florida Lets Two Convicted Murderers Stroll Out of Prison, Blames 'Fraudulent Modifications' in Court Orders

This undated photo provided by the Florida Department. of Corrections shows Joseph Jenkins. Jenkins and Charles Walker were mistakenly released from prison in Franklin County, Fla., in late September and early October. According to authorities, the the two convicted murderers were released with forged documents. A manhunt is under way for the two men. Credit: AP

Convicted murderers Charles Walker and Joseph Jenkins are classified as escapees from a Florida prison, but they didn't bust out. Rather, the Department of Corrections officials released them and never tried to stop them from walking out.

As it turns out, the two were freed from 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. The problem, "both of their releases were based on fraudulent modifications that had been made to court orders,” Crews told CNN.

Jenkins was sentenced to 50 years for a 1998 murder and armed robbery and got an extra five years for a 1997 auto theft. He was in prison since 2000. He was freed on Sept. 27.

Walker was sentence to 15 years for a 1999 murder and had been in custody since 2001. He was freed on Oct. 8.

Though both convicted murderers have been roaming free for weeks now, the state of Florida just recently made the announcement seeking help from the public to find the two men.

Both men are 34 and former residents of Orlando, and the local law enforcement there believe they may return.

"They committed violent crimes," Orange County Sheriff's Office Capt. Angelo Nieves told CNN. "The best thing for them to do is to turn themselves in."


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