Escaped inmates' fraudulent documents reviewed

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Florida Department of Corrections photos of Joseph Jenkins and Charles Walker

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Technicians in Tallahassee are pouring over fraudulent documents that set two killers free.

With the men serving a life sentence now back in prison, law enforcement is hoping the original paperwork will lead them to the bottom of the scheme.

The documents that fraudulently set Charles Walker and Joseph Jenkins free contained all the right legalese, those close to the case say. One was a motion to correct an illegal sentence, the other an order granting the motion.

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

"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 $8,000," FDLE Commissioner Gerald Bailey said.

Walker and Jenkins, both 34, were found at Coconut Grove Motor Inn in Panama City on Saturday night.

"There will be more arrests," Bailey said.

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," Bailey said.

The fraudulent documents that resulted in the inmates walking free originated in the Clerk of Courts office, so on Monday, corrections officials met with court clerks to try to 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.

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