'I don't believe it' says murder victim's niece on killers' mistaken release

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ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. —

Law enforcement officials are still looking for two convicted killers who scammed their way out of prison.

Joseph Jenkins, 34, and Charles Walker, 34, were in prison following murder convictions. They used forged documents to walk free.

Investigators said tips are pouring in, and they hope that the tips will lead to the convicted killers.

A statement released Thursday by State Attorney Jeff Ashton revealed the State Attorney's Office didn't know two convicted killers had been mistakenly released until a victim's family contacted the office.

The niece of one of the victims said she wanted answers.

"I just don't believe it.  I just don't believe it.  I know for a fact it was an inside job," said Roscoe Pugh's niece, who did not want to be identified.

Jenkins killed Pugh in 1998, and his niece said she never thought the killer would walk free.

The release started at the Orange County Clerk of Courts Office, which accepted forged documents as authentic and then passed them along to the Florida Department of Corrections, which acted on them.  

"Someone with the aid of a computer lifted my signature off previous signed documents, which are public record," said Orange County Chief Judge Belvin Perry.

The men were serving life sentences at Franklin Correctional Institution, not far from Tallahassee.

Officials there received what they believed to be documents from the Orange County courthouse to reduce the sentences for Jenkins and Walker. The heading on the documents: a motion to correct an illegal sentence.

"In my 35 years in the judicial system, I have never seen the state of Florida file a motion to correct an illegal sentence," said Perry.

Charles Walker shot and killed Cedric Slater in 1999. At the time, Walker told investigators Slater had bullied him, and the shooting was meant to scare him off.

Walker's previous arrests included cocaine possession, aggravated assault and burglary charges.

Perry said changes have already been made to prevent someone from getting away with this in the same way again. He said he wouldn't elaborate on the changes because he didn't want to give anyone an opportunity to find a way around the new system.

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