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2 murder convicts at large after mistaken release from Florida prison

October 17, 2013|By Michael Muskal

Two convicted murderers remained at large Thursday after they were mistakenly released from a Florida prison, officials said.

Authorities continue to search for the men, Jeff Williamson, a spokesman for the sheriff's office in Florida's Orange County, where the men were convicted, told the Los Angeles Times on Thursday.

Joseph Jenkins and Charles Walker were mistakenly released separately from the Franklin Correctional Institution in Franklin County on the Florida Panhandle, one in late September and one early this month, officials said.

Forged documents were apparently filed with the court to alter the sentences, officials said. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating the cases.

On Tuesday, state officials notified “the Orange County Sheriff’s Office of the escapees’ release, due to the fact the subjects were past residents of Orange County and their convictions derived from crimes committed in Orange County and the City of Orlando,” according to a statement from the sheriff’s office, emailed to reporters.

“Through investigative means it has come to light that at least one of the suspects may be in Orange County,” according to the statement.

Walker was serving a life sentence on a second-degree murder conviction. Jenkins was serving time for a 1998 first-degree murder conviction.

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