FDLE: Escapes Using Forged Documents Not An Isolated Event

Oct 22, 2013

Florida law enforcement officials now confirm the prison escape of two inmates who used forged documents isn’t an isolated incident. A records review shows a recent escape from a prison in Franklin County is at least the seventh of its kind in just the last four years. 

Joseph Jenkins and Charles Walker were serving life sentences for murder until they were mistakenly let out when bogus release documents were sent to the Franklin Correctional Facility where they were incarcerated. At a Tuesday press conference, Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Gerald Bailey said a forensics team is trying to pinpoint where the documents might’ve come from. And FDLE’s Forensics Director David Coffman said they could wrap up that examination within the week.

“Well it just depends on the complexity of the case – we’re obviously expediting it and it can take anywhere from three to five days when we’re expediting a case. But, it depends on the volume of evidence and the quality of evidence we’re getting,” Coffman explained.

It was Jenkins’ second try using forged documents. Both he and Walker were recaptured at a Panama City hotel over the weekend. But, law enforcement officials say there have been six other confirmed escape attempts by inmates using forged documents since 2009. Florida lawmakers are calling for hearings into convict release procedures.