FRANKLIN COUNTY, FL (WCTV/CNN) – Two inmates convicted of murder who were mistakenly released from prison have been captured.
Charles Walker and Joseph Jenkins were arrested at a hotel in Panama City, FL, and taken into custody without incident. Both men were serving life sentences without the possibility of parole.
Florida law enforcement coordinated with U.S. marshals to locate and capture the escaped inmates.
"It's kind of scary," said resident Kim Brannan.
Brannan lives just a half mile from the Franklin Correctional Institution in Carabbelle, FL. She discovered the two inmates were released from the facility just one day apart.
The Department of Corrections said the two were released because of forged documents granting their freedom.
"Well, this is an instance where the department received documents from the court. We initiated our typical procedure for an inmate release," said Misty Cash of the Department of Corrections. "The department followed our procedures and protocols to the letter, so in this instance the department didn't do anything wrong."
Cash compared the forged documents to counterfeit money – you don't realize it until it's too late.
"You pass that $20 bill on because by all appearances, it's a $20 bill," said Cash.
Officials with the department of corrections said they would investigate making changes to their procedures.
"We're going to do whatever needs to be done. If anything needs to be done to make sure that public safety is number one," said Cash.
But for Brannan it's a situation that needed to be dealt with a lot sooner.
"They could still be here, and you wouldn't have known to be aware of anything until today," said Brannan.
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