PANAMA CITY, Fla. - Two men convicted of murders in the Orlando area that escaped from a Florida prison have been arrested and taken into custody after being found at a motel Panama City.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement, along with the U.S. Marshall's Service, said it arrested escaped inmates Charles Walker and Joseph Jenkins without incident Saturday afternoon at the Coconut Grove Motor Inn, located at 9725 Front Beach Road in Panama City.
It was originally believed they were in the Orlando area, according to an Orange County sheriff.
However, members of the Bay County Sheriff's Office, the United States Marshals Florida Regional Fugitive Task Force, FDLE, the Florida Department of Corrections and the Panama City Police Department developed information two days ago the two men were staying on Panama City Beach.
Deputies said about 20 members of the task force surrounded the room and a message was sent using a PA system instructing Jenkins and Walker to come out. About a minute later, authorities said both men left the room with their hands in the air and were taken into custody without incident.
Walker, 34, was serving life without the possibility of parole on a second-degree murder conviction from Orange County. Authorities said he escaped from Franklin Correctional Institution on Oct. 8 after the Department of Corrections received fraudulent release documents from the Clerk of Court.
Jenkins, also 34, was serving a life without the possibility of parole on a first-degree murder conviction from Orange County. FDLE said on Sept. 27 he also escaped from Franklin Correctional Institution.
Family members of the convicted killers held a press conference on Saturday, imploring the men to turn themselves in.
The Corrections Department in Florida said it was changing its early release policy after the two men escaped with bogus documents. Belvin Perry's signature was among those forged in the mistaken prison release.
Walker and Jenkins were taken Saturday evening to the Bay County Jail. A press conference is scheduled for Sunday.
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