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Florida inmates forging documents to escape

Reported by: Alyana Gomez

Reported by: Paige Kelton
Reported by: Pascale Head
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Updated: 11/01/2013 12:44 am
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Action News just obtained new evidence proving the Department of Corrections was warned, before two convicted murderers were allowed to just walk out of prison.

The Department of Corrections has been digging for the truth since two convicted killers were released in the middle of serving life sentences.

Charles Walker and Joseph Jenkins were free for about three weeks after they tricked the system into thinking their sentences had been reduced. They used forged documents, and we just found out it's not the first time this happened.

The first was in October 2009. An inmate in the Pinellas County Jail used another inmate to mail forged papers that led to his release.

In 2010, an inmate at the Franklin Correction Institution forged a letter from a victim dismissing the case.

The next January, another inmate at that prison got his life sentence shortened to just seven years. Later that year, a third inmate at Franklin tried the the same thing twice.

In all of these cases, the inmates were either stopped before they were released or brought back to prison within a day.

To fix the system, the Department of Corrections now requires the sentencing judge to verify every order for release. State attorneys and court clerks are also being warned to flag any document that looks suspicious and report it.
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