By Dianne Frazee-Walker

You’ve got to give them credit for trying. Florida inmates Joseph Jenkins and Charles Walker “almost got away with it.” Instead of digging the traditional tunnel under the prison or impersonating a correctional officer and walking out of prison as free men, these felons came up with a strategy more ingenious than story lines for prison outbreak movies.  

Jenkins and Walker came close to pulling off forging documents that granted them an early release. The escapees both 34 were serving life sentences for murder at the Franklin Correctional Facility in the Florida Panhandle. The duo must have decided a life sentence was too long, so they somehow produced official looking documents that go them an early release, 15 years early. The fraudulent certificates passed as plausible with an authentic looking forged judge’s signature along with case numbers. 

Mr. Jenkins was released on Sept. 27 and registered as a felon on Sept. 30. Mr. Walker was released on Oct. 8 and registered with the authorities three days later.

The ploy came to an abrupt end Saturday evening at Cocoanut Grove Motor Inn located in the touristy town of Panama City Beach, Florida just hours after family members of the men publicly pleaded for their surrender.

The capture occurred just in time because Jenkins and Walker were waiting for a ride from Atlanta to pick them up and take them across the state line. The two men were arrested peacefully and are now in custody. They were unarmed and had a small amount of cash on them.

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