Joseph Jenkins and Charles Walker, two convicts who were mistakenly released from a Florida prison after submitting forged papers, were taken back to prison on Sunday after being caught the day previously. Both men were serving life sentences and authorities are assuming they had substantial help in their escape.
It is not yet clear exactly how the pair managed to prepare the document for their release, but they drew the attention of an assistant prosecutor after he discovered that they had been signed off on by employees who do not normally handle sentence reductions. Gerald Bailey, commissioner for the state's Department of Law Enforcement, speculated that someone was paid around $8000 to forge the papers, although he emphasized that it was merely a theory. Regardless, he stated that, "They had to have had help — and a lot of help — to get to where they were last night"—a motel in the Florida panhandle.
The judge whose signature was on the release authorization, Belvin Perry, believes that his John Hancock was found online. Judge Perry had nothing to do with either Jenkins's or Walker's case but did preside over the trial of Casey Anthony, which likely explains why his signature was readily available.
Bailey said that the papers for the pair of convicts "looked official." Since the mistake, court clerk must now verify sentence reductions with judges.