How Could This Happen?

Technicians in Tallahassee are poring over fraudulent documents that set two killers free. With the men serving a life sentence now back behind bars, law enforcement is hoping the original paperwork will lead them to the bottom of the scheme.

This undated combo of photos provided by the Florida Department. of Corrections shows Joseph Jenkins, left and Charles Walker. Walker and Joseph Jenkins 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. (AP Photo/Florida Department. of Corrections)

The documents that fraudulently set two killers free contained all the right legalese say those close to the case.

One was a motion to correct an illegal sentence, the other an order granting the motion.

The Department of Law Enforcement says the documents likely did not come cheap.

Gerald Bailey, FDLE Commissioner says, "there is speculation and underline speculation that there was a source where, for a certain sum of money, that these documents could be constructed for 8 thousand dollars."

Escaped inmates Charles Walker and Joseph Jenkins, both 34, were found at Coconut Grove Motor Inn in Panama City Saturday night.

"There will be more arrests,” says Bailey.

The original documents are now being analyzed for any traces of DNA.

"The challenge is going to be, the multiple profiles of DNA that are on those documents but if it's there, we'll find it through our touch DNA," says Bailey.

The fraudulent documents that resulted in the end mates walking free originated in the Clerk of Courts office, so Monday correction officials met with court clerks, try and make sure it never happens again.

The Department of Corrections receives about 2,000 routine documents each year that grant inmates gain time, but they get very few ordering a large sentence reduction.

Secretary Michael Crews says his department has already changed its procedure, from now on it will talk directly with judges in such cases.

State lawmakers plan hearing into the fraudulent documents and the release of two killers in early November.

8195 Front Beach Road Panama City Beach, FL 32407 Station: 850-234-7777 News: 850-230-5221 Fax: 850-233-6647
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