TALLAHASEE – A few months ago two convicted killers were released from prison early with forged documents. On Dec. 19, Florida's Department of Law Enforcement announced that a Florida man had been charged with helping his brother's killer and another murderer escape from prison with forged prison documents.
According to Florida Department of Law Enforcement Special Agent Danny Banks, Willie Slater Jr. helped Charles Walker and Joseph Jenkins escape from a Panhandle prison a few months earlier because he owed Jenkins a favor. Jenkins and Slater were in prison together, and in 2009 Jenkins helped Slater get out of prison by giving false testimony, claiming that he had committed a home invasion that Slater had been convicted of, said Banks.
Walker had murdered Slater's brother Cedric in 1999.
"It seems odd that he would help get his brother's murderer out of jail, but he owned a significant favor to Mr. Jenkins which he fulfilled," Banks said.
What's even odder is that Slater was arrested after Jenkins and Walker were arrested and charged with making death threats to Walker's family. Walker and Jenkins were arrested on Oct. 19 and Slater was arrested nine days later.
There were four people that were charged with helping Walker and Jenkins escape, with Slater being one of the four. The others charged include Nydeed Nashaddai, Terrance Goodman and Jeffrey Forbes.
According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Gerald Bailey, Nashaddai was the mastermind behind the scheme.
In 2009, Nashaddai used forged documents to get out of Pinellas County jail. He was captured in less than 24 hours and subsequently sentenced to 20 years for escape and sent to Franklin County prison where Walker and Jenkins were both serving a life term. Franklin County prison is where he taught the men to forge court documents.
In Forbes' role, he helped create the documents by using the prison's computers and printers. He attempted to make a similar escape but his efforts were thwarted when a detective discovered that his release date was changed.
The falsified release orders were mailed to Slater, who helped deliver them to the Orange County clerk of court's office, said Bailey.
Walker and Jenkins were released from prison on Sept. 27 and Oct. 8; they registered as ex-felons with the Orange County jail in order to keep the ruse going. The escape wasn't discovered until a relative of Roscue Pugh, who Jenkins murdered, asked the state attorney's office why Jenkins had been released from prison. Florida automatically notifies victims or their families when violent felons are being released.
The fugitives ran from law enforcement, hiding out in a motel room in Panama City Beach, but they were eventually apprehended by authorities.
The bogus court documents were created and produced in the prison using the prison's computers and printers in the law library. According to Michael Crews, the Department of Corrections Secretary, the agency is reviewing what is constitutionally required in prison law libraries and will remove what is not required.
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