Man accused of taking part in prison escape scheme faces judge



ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - One of the prison escapees accused of forging Orange County Chief Judge Belvin Perry's name on an order to get out of his life sentence was in court Friday morning before a different circuit judge.

Joseph Jenkins is one of six convicts charged in the scheme, which prosecutors said started about five years ago.    

Court records show Jenkins gave extensive details to investigators about the forgery and escape scheme. 

Court clerk: "Do you solemnly swear or affirm the testimony you shall give to be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God?"

Jenkins: "The whole truth, yes, ma'am."

Jenkins was heavily chained and heavily guarded Friday when he appeared before Orange County Circuit Judge Julie O'Kane.

A written plea of not guilty was filed late Thursday.

Court records show Jenkins gave a statement to investigators about the escape scheme last November after he was caught.

Jenkins said he agreed to confess to fellow prisoner Willie Slater's home invasion several years ago after Slater promised to get an attorney for Jenkins and provide him with between $50,000 and $100,000.

The records show Slater gave Jenkins some money when Jenkins was in prison, but never provided a lawyer.

Slater is charged with tampering with a witness in that case and also faces escape charges for allegedly helping Jenkins and inmate Charles Walker forge court orders that got them both out of prison last fall.

Jenkins and the others are scheduled for trial in April.

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