Two Men Indicted for Murder from the Robert DuBoise Case
August 11, 2022 Don Pumphrey, Jr. Criminal Defense, News & Announcements, Violent Crimes Social Share
Two years after Robert DuBoise was exonerated for the murder of Barbara Grams, police have now linked the newly discovered DNA evidence to two men who are already serving life sentences for another murder.
A grand jury has indicted Amos Robinson and Abron Scott on Thursday for Barbara Grams, as well as the rape and murder of Linda Lansen. Police believe the two men carried out a “sinister spree of rape and murder” in the Tampa Bay area in the summer and fall of 1983.
We will cover the details from each of the murder cases, as well as the exoneration of Robert DuBoise who was wrongfully serving over 30 years for one of the killings.
New DNA Tests for Exoneration
In 2018 the Conviction Review Unit was created by Hillsborough County State Attorney’s Office. Attorney Andrew Warren worked with the unit to prevent or overturn wrongful convictions.
When reviewing the murder case of Grams, Warren found that their current DNA evidence against Robert DuBoise—who was convicted of Grams’ murder—was incorrect. “Our investigation found DNA evidence that established Robert did not murder Barbara Grams,” Warren said. “However, that DNA evidence did provide new leads and launched a fresh investigation.”
The unit had the DNA sample run through a national database, which holds samples of other convicted felons. The database pointed the investigation to Amos Robinson and Abron Scott, who were already serving life sentences for a separate murder case from 1983. Not only did the new DNA build a new case for Grams’ murder, but it also helped to reopen the cold case of Linda Lansen.
This was not the first time Scott and Robinson have faced criminal charges. As previously mentioned, they are both serving life sentences already in Pinellas County for robbing, kidnapping, and killing Carlos Orellana on October 21st, 1983.
Orellana was heading to his car after leaving a bar when the two men approached him. Court records explained that they beat Orellana until he was unconscious and threw him into the back seat. The pair drove to an undeveloped area, and Orellana began to fight back.
Scott allegedly beat and choked Orellana, and then got back into the vehicle and ran the victim over. The car got stuck in the sand while the body was still underneath, which forced the two men to recruit the help of several unidentified individuals who used their trucks to dislodge the car. Orellana’s body was buried in the forest, where road workers uncovered it five days later.
There were separate trials for Scott and Robinson, where both men were sentenced to the death penalty. Ironically, they were on death row in Florida at the same time as DuBoise, who had been wrongfully convicted for Grams. Their death sentence was later reduced to life in prison.
The murder of Barbara Grams took place on the night of August 18th, 1983. Grams was leaving her job at a restaurant in the Tampa Bay Center shopping mall, where she started a two-mile walk home. The next morning her body was found in someone’s yard. Grams had been raped and beaten to death.
Robert DuBoise had initially been charged and convicted of the murder, based solely on the evidence that is now deemed unreliable. There was a bite mark on Grams’ body that they attempted to pin on DuBoise. He served over 36 years due to the unreliable evidence and a jailhouse informant. DuBoise was finally released in 2020, which you can read more about on our blog here.
As of August 4th, 20202, Abron Scott and Amos Earl Robinson were both charged with first-degree murder for Grams’ death. They have also now been charged with an additional murder—the cold case of Linda Toni Lansen, who had been shot and killed five weeks before Grams. Lansen was killed on July 10th, 1983, and her body was found the next day in a ditch by a jogger. She was shot multiple times. Police found her car near Interstate 275, and her purse was later found ditched on the road in Clearwater.
Robinson is also behind two other murders—state records indicate that there was one in 1998 and another in 2004. Scott is currently held at the Okeechobee Correctional Institution, and Robinson is at the Union Correctional Institution. The two men are set to return to Hillsborough County in the upcoming weeks for the new trial.
First-Degree Murder in Florida
Under Florida Statute Section 782.04, a first-degree murder charge is one of the harshest in the state of Florida, resulting in possible life in prison for the defendant or even the death penalty if the circumstances merit it.
For a charge of First-Degree Premeditated Murder, the prosecutor needs to prove the following during trial:
- The Victim is dead.
- The death was caused by the criminal act of the defendant.
- There was a premeditated killing of victim.
While there are possible defenses like self-defense, defense to others, or defense of property when dealing with such violent crimes, it is important to understand the law to know if the defenses may be applicable in your situation.
To read more about murder and violent crimes, you can find our blog on them here.
Linda Sheffield, the niece of Lansen, spoke at the news conference where the announcement was made for the two men’s indictments. “There are no words to describe what it’s like to go through 39 years of grief and not knowing what happened,” Sheffield said. “She taught me how to count to 100, she taught me how to put on makeup. The void stays and the pain stays and the crying stays, it doesn’t go away.”
Hillsborough State Attorney Andrew Warren gave the following comment regarding the indictment, “They are still alive and they will finally face a reckoning for what they did.” Warren was removed from office that same day by Gov. Ron DeSantis due to a separate issue on abortion.
Warren said the following on the wrongful conviction of Robert DuBoise, who had been exonerated and released in 2020 for the murder of Barbara Grams:
“Wrongful convictions erode the foundation of our justice system. For 37 years, we’ve had an innocent man locked up in prison—while the real perpetrator was never held accountable for this heinous crime. The family of the victim deserves to have the truth, as painful as it may be. And when you tell the truth, justice is done.”
DuBoise spoke to CNN on Friday about the new indictment, as well as being exonerated nearly two years ago: “I am sad for the families who have waited so long to get true closure. I spent 37 years imprisoned for a crime I was totally innocent. This is what happens when the police focus on the wrong person, make up evidence to fit their theory and don’t investigate to find the truth. Lives are ruined and communities are less safe.”
Finding a Defense Attorney in Tallahassee, Florida
If you or a loved one has been accused of a crime, it is imperative that you seek out the help of a skilled attorney in your area. A criminal conviction can lead to harsh consequences such as expensive fines, imprisonment, and in the most severe cases, capital punishment. Working with an experienced criminal defense attorney can help build a strong defense for your case and work towards earning your freedom. Don Pumphrey and his team at Pumphrey Law Firm have experience representing individuals across the Sunshine State. We vow to stand in your corner and fight for your freedom. For a free consultation call (850) 681-7777 or leave an online message today.
Written by Karissa Key