WASHINGTON –A judge’s signature was forged on several documents that freed two convicted killers in the state of Florida. The two men, both serving life sentences, were accidentally released and have not been apprehended.
The Orlando Sentinel reported that Chief Judge Belvin perry’s signature was forged on two release documents that released Charles Bernard Walker and Joseph Ivan Jenkins, both aged 34.
Both men were incarcerated at the Franklin Correctional Institution within two weeks of each other. The documents contained Belvin’s forged signature in addition to another judge and those of the State Attorney’s Office (including that of current State Attorney Jeff Ashton).
In an interview Judge Belvin said that the public record also shows the signatures of public officials like him, and it had to have been someone with a knowledge of the inner workings of releasing prisoners.
It seemed legitimate because the orders for release had the county seal, letterheads and even had the correct formats of the documents required for filing.
Jenkins was freed September 27th and Walker was released October 8th. Jenkins was serving a life sentence for the first-degree murder of a father of six back in 1998 and Walker was serving a life sentence for a 1999 second-degree murder conviction.
The forgeries were good ones at that, because they were motions to correct what is called an “illegal sentence”, where a sentence is reduced.