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Two killers wrongly freed in Fla. are captured

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Two convicted killers who were freed from prison with phony documents were captured together without incident Saturday night at a Panama City, Fla., motel, authorities said.

Joseph Jenkins and Charles Walker, both 34, were taken into custody about 6:40 p.m. at the Coconut Grove Motor Inn. They were apprehended just a couple of hours after their family members held a news conference urging the men to surrender.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement did not immediately release further details about their capture or investigation.

Jenkins was found guilty of first-degree murder in the 1998 killing and botched robbery of Roscoe Pugh, an Orlando man. It was Pugh's family that contacted the prosecutor's office last week and told them Jenkins had been released, setting off a manhunt.

The prosecutor's office also discovered Walker had been mistakenly released. Walker was convicted of second-degree murder in the 1999 Orlando-area slaying of Cedric Slater, 23.

Jenkins and Walker were both serving life sentences. Their freedom came about only because phony documents fooled prison officials. The paperwork, complete with case numbers and a judge's forged signature, reduced the sentences to 15 years.

Jenkins was let out of the Franklin Correction Institution in the Panhandle on Sept. 27 and registered as a felon three days later at a jail in Orlando, about 300 miles from the prison. Just like Jenkins, Walker registered as a felon at the jail three days after he was released.

Henry Pearson, described as Jenkins' father figure, said he brought Jenkins clothes when he picked him up from prison and drove him to see his mother and grandmother.

Walker's mother, Lillie Danzy, said Saturday the family thought their prayers had been answered when she got the call saying he would be released Oct. 8. There wasn't time to pick him up, so he hopped a bus to his hometown.

It's not clear exactly who made the fake documents ordering the release or whether the escapes were related.

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