Leave it to Florida to let a couple of criminals go! Except this time, there's really no room for speculation about whether or not the criminals are, well, actual criminals. Two convicted killers, Joseph Jenkins and Charles Walker, who were serving life in a Florida prison were mistakenly freed recently after forged court documents reduced their sentences, authorities said. What ... the ...?!
The men were released separately from a prison in the Panhandle in late September and early October, according to the Orange County Sheriff's Office. Now that they've owned up to the egregious error, the sheriff's office is calling for the criminals' return.
Sheriff's office spokesman Angelo Nieves said:
These two individuals are out. They shouldn't be, and we want to get them back in custody. This shouldn't have happened, but it did, and our concern is to get these individuals into custody.
Apparently, it wasn't until only two days ago that the Florida Department of Law Enforcement learned about the shocking misstep.
This is beyond crazy, and you can tell they know how badly they screwed up, considering the defensive statement "they shouldn't be ... this shouldn't have happened." Uh, ya think?!
Jenkins was found guilty of first-degree murder in the 1998 killing of an Orlando man. Walker was convicted of second-degree murder in a 1999 slaying in Orange County. Neither of these men should be on the loose ... and it reflects poorly on no one other than the state.
Get this -- apparently the forged paperwork that led to their release had the template of documents coming from Chief Circuit Judge Belvin Perry, who presided over the Casey Anthony murder trial in 2011, said Leesa Bainbridge, a spokeswoman for the Orange County clerk of courts. Weird.
Bainbridge went on to say the clerk's office moves thousands of pages of court documents a day and currently has no way of authenticating those that pass through to other agencies. Oookay. Sounds like a bunch of excuses over loopholes in all of their bureaucratic red tape.
Anyone even remotely connected to this idiot move has some explaining to do. In the meantime, thank goodness the manhunt is now on -- for the sake of everyone who is now at greater risk with these convicts on the loose.
Here are mugshots of Walker and Jenkins respectively ...
Can you believe this?!
Image via © Tom Grill/Corbis