DNA links two men in prison to a cold case from 1983 that originally sent the wrong man to prison for 37 years.

Two men serving life sentences for murder at a Florida prison have been linked to two other murders with the help of newly discovered DNA samples, leading to the exoneration of another man who wrongfully served 37 years in prison for the rape and murder of Barbara Grams. in 1983.

Amos Robinson and Abron Scott allegedly raped and murdered 19-year-old Grams, whose battered body was found behind a dental office in Tampa Heights on Aug. 18, 1983, Hillsborough County State’s Attorney Andrew Warren said during a press conference on Thursday after it was suspended as state’s attorney by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for his stance against the criminalization of abortion providers.

A grand jury indicted Robinson and Scott on Thursday in the rape and murder of Linda Lansen, whose battered body was found in Town and Country in July 1983 in bushes with a gunshot wound to the head, Warren said.

“These two men not only stole from me, but they stole a 7-year-old girl from her mother,” Linda Sheffield, Lansen’s niece, said during Thursday’s news conference.

“When they are initially killed, the impact is there, but 39 years later, the impact is gone,” he said. “But the emptiness stays, and the pain stays, and the crying stays. It doesn’t go away.”

Robinson and Scott are also the subject of other cold case investigations from the same period in the Tampa Bay area, Warren said.

“We now know that these two men carried out a sinister rape and murder spree in Tampa Bay in the summer and fall of 1983,” Warren said.

It’s unclear if Robinson and Scott have attorneys at this time.


In 2018, Warren’s office created a Conviction Review Unit to help overturn and prevent wrongful convictions. Two years later, Robert DuBoise, who spent 37 years in prison for Grams’ rape and murder, was exonerated.

“Our investigation found DNA evidence that established that Robert did not murder Barbara Grams, however, that DNA evidence provided new leads and opened a new investigation,” Warren said.

The DNA sample that did not contain DuBoise material was analyzed in a national database containing DNA samples from convicted felons and led investigators to Scott and Robinson, who were already serving life sentences in a Florida prison for a murder they committed in Pinellas County in October. 1983, Warren said.

With that information, investigators were able to build a case for Grams’ murder and open a cold case investigation into Lansen’s murder.

At the time of DuBoise’s trial, there was no physical or circumstantial evidence connecting DuBoise to the attack, according to The Florida Innocence Project.

Prior to his conviction, he was transported to the Hillsborough County Jail. A jailhouse informant who spoke with DuBoise later falsely testified that DuBoise had confessed to the crime while in jail, The Florida Innocence Project said.

“I’m sad for the families that have waited so long to get true closure,” DuBoise told CNN on Friday. “I spent 37 years in prison for a crime that I was totally innocent of. This is what happens when the police target the wrong person, fabricate evidence that fits their theory, and fail to investigate to find the truth. Lives are ruined and destroy communities. less safe.”

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