20K Reward For Information On Convicts' Release

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By: Andy Alcock
October 22, 2013

Tallahassee, FL - Saturday night, Charles Walker and Joseph Jenkins were waiting on a vehicle from Atlanta to pick them up from a Panama City motel and take them out of state.

Instead the two convicted murderers, who were released from the Franklin Correctional Institute on forged documents, were arrested.

"Jenkins and Walker are already serving life sentences," noted Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Gerald Bailey. "They have very little to lose," he said. "But those who helped them have very much to lose," Bailey added.

Bailey also revealed Jenkins tried a similar scheme in 2011 but failed.

Altogether Bailey says in the last few years, including the Jenkins and Walker case, there have been five forged document escape atttempts from Franklin Correctional Institute, one from Gulf Correctional Institute and one from the Pinellas County Jail.

Additionally Bailey says they found two other Franklin C.I. inmates were in the process of getting fake release documents.

The commissioner also says it's possible there may be prisoners released on fraudulent papers they don't know about.

"We are worried about that and we will do everything we can to confirm whether there is or is not more out there," he said.

FDLE has seized computers and printers from Franklin C.I. and an I-Pad and cell phone from the motel where Jenkins and Walker were captured.

The investigation is focusing on who created the forged documents and tracking those documents through the system with a focus on one stop on their journey where the documents were mailed, the Orange County Clerk of Court's Office.

Bailey: "There are no arrests anticipated for today."
Reporter: "There will be in the future?"
Bailey: "Yes there definitely will be in the future."

Bailey says Jenkins and Walker aren't cooperating.

FDLE, Attorney General Pam Bondi and Big Bend Crime Stoppers are offering up to $20,000 in rewards for information leading to additional arrests.

Press Release: Florida Department of Law Enforcement

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Attorney General Pam Bondi, Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Gerald Bailey, and the Crime Stoppers of the Big Bend today announced that they are offering up to $20,000 in total for those who provide tips on the release of the two North Florida inmates. Attorney General Pam Bondi partnered with Crime Stoppers of the Big Bend Executive Director Sharon Ofuani to offer up to $10,000 for information provided to FDLE that leads to the arrest and conviction of the party or parties that constructed the forged documents or harbored and assisted Jenkins and Walker after the escape. This amount is in addition to the up to $10,000 that the Florida Department of Law Enforcement is offering for the same information, bringing the total up to $20,000.

“The illegal operation to help release two murderers who were serving life sentences involved more than just the prisoners, and we have partnered with the Big Bend Crime Stoppers to provide up to $10,000 to those who come forward with information that leads to the arrest of those who helped the inmates. This money is in addition to the up to $10,000 that FDLE is offering,” stated Attorney General Pam Bondi.

“This investigation is a top priority for FDLE and leads continue to come in,” said FDLE Commissioner Gerald Bailey. “This reward money should entice someone to help us find answers sooner rather than later.”

"I am proud to collaborate with Attorney General Pam Bondi to offer up to $10,000 to those who provide tips that lead to the arrest of those who helped the two inmates by forging documents or otherwise assisting them," stated Sharon Ofuani, Executive Director of Big Bend Crime Stoppers.

Anyone who has tips should contact Big Bend Crime Stoppers at 850-574-TIPS (8477).

By: Julie Montanaro
October 22, 2013, 12:20pm

FDLE Commissioner Gerald Bailey says the two suspects are not cooperating .

Agents have seized computers and printers from the inmate library at Franklin County.

Agents seized an iPad and a mobile phone from the hotel room where suspects were arrested in Panama City.

Bailey says the men who escaped have very little to lose, but those who helped them have much to lose.

Bailey says inmates have tried this before. He says he is aware of three inmates from Franklin CI, one from Gulf CI and one from Pinellas County jail who have tried it.

Bailey says the inmate who escaped from the Pinellas County Jail used fraudulent documents and was caught within 16 hours. He was sentenced to 20 years and was sent to Franklin CI.

Bailey says they are investigating whether this was an inside job, but right now have no evidence of that.

Bailey says both DNA analysts and fingerprint analysts are examining the documents.

FDLE is offering a $10,000 reward.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Gerald Bailey will hold a press conference today to provide an update on the Charles Walker and Joseph Jenkins inmate escape investigation.

The news conference details are as follows:

Date: Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Time: NOON
Location: FDLE Headquarters, Tallahassee
2331 Phillips Road
Tallahassee, Florida 32308

For Further Information Contact:

Gretl Plessinger, Samantha Andrews or Steve Arthur
FDLE Office of Public Information
(850) 410-7001

Associated Press Release

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- Judicial orders will no longer be accepted at drop-off boxes in the Orange County Clerk of Courts offices where forged documents were filed that led to the wrongful release of two prison inmates.

Chief Circuit Judge Belvin Perry made the change to how orders are filed in his circuit on Monday. The circuit covers clerk's offices in Orange and Osceola counties.

The change came two days after two convicted murderers were captured at a Panama City motel and returned to custody.

Joseph Jenkins and Charles Walker walked out of a Panhandle prison as the result of forged documents that cut their sentences.

The fake documents were filed with the Orange County Clerk of Courts in Orlando and forwarded to the Franklin Correctional Institution where the inmates were serving life sentences.

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