• Man accused of helping inmates escape appears in court


    ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - A man accused of helping two inmates forge their way out of prison faced a judge in Orange County on Wednesday.

    Willie Slater is charged with helping the convicted killers walk away from their life sentences after one of them helped him get out of his life sentence.

    Channel 9's Kathi Belich was the only reporter at the hearing and says Slater might never go free again.

    Slater pleaded not guilty to escape and forgery charges but his run of good luck is likely over, said Belich.

    In a 2011 letter to the court, Slater's wife described him as a man who "will stop at nothing," "cares about no one" and feels "he's above the law" after his arrest for beating her at the day care where she worked.

    Investigators said two years earlier, Slater got himself out of his life prison sentence by convincing fellow inmate Joseph Jenkins to take the rap for his home invasion.

    We're told Jenkins convinced everyone in court four years ago when he was able to accurately describe even the front door of the house.

    After Slater went free, he told Channel 9 he wanted to sue the state for wrongful conviction.

    He's being tight-lipped now about his charges for allegedly helping Jenkins and convicted murderer Charles Walker forge court orders to get them out of prison.

    In the last few years, Slater has been able to avoid prosecution in two cases. His alleged victim in a 2012 armed burglary never showed to testify, and his wife recanted one domestic violence accusation.

    Slater served about a year for the day care incident and went free again.

    Now, Belich said, the phony confession and prison escape charges will likely add to the life sentence Slater should have been serving all along.

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    Man accused of helping inmates escape appears in court