TALLAHASSEE - Two convicted murderers released from a Florida prison based on forged court documents were captured on Saturday, law enforcement officials said.
Joseph Jenkins and Charles Walker, both 34, were arrested at the Coconut Grove Motor Inn in Panama City, Florida, at about 6:40 p.m. local time, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement said in a statement. The pair were arrested without incident, according to the department.
A nationwide manhunt had been mounted for Jenkins and Walker who were released from the Franklin Correctional Institution in Carrabelle, Florida, on Sept. 27 and Oct. 8, respectively. Their releases were based on forged documents that indicated their life sentences had been reduced.
A court spokeswoman in Orange County, Florida, where the men were convicted, said earlier this week that someone signed the name of Chief Judge Belvin Perry of the state's Ninth Judicial Circuit Court on two official-looking documents granting their release.
Earlier Saturday, relatives of the fugitives held a news conference in Orlando, urging them to surrender.
Both were serving life terms - Walker for second-degree murder in 1999 in Orange County, and Jenkins for first-degree murder in 1998.
Their erroneous release was discovered only this week, when a relative of one their victims received a routine notice of the release.