TAMPA, Fla. – The multi-year investigation that exonerated Robert DuBoise for a 1983 rape and murder he did not commit has now led to indictments against the two men who actually killed the victim, and also uncovered that these same two men committed another rape and murder that had gone unsolved for nearly 40 years.
Andrew Warren announced the indictments today, which came from the Conviction Review Unit he established in 2018 to identify wrongful convictions.
After the CRU located DNA evidence in 2020 that established DuBoise did not kill Barbara Grams, the CRU kept digging, working with law enforcement to identify her actual killers.
During that investigation, the CRU also examined other mysterious deaths from the same time in Tampa, which led to re-opening the case of Linda Lansen’s murder. Detectives ultimately were able to link the same two men to both vicious murders.
“The two men who actually killed Barbara Grams 39 years ago have been identified. They are still alive. And they will finally face a reckoning for what they’ve done,” said Warren, who established Hillsborough’s CRU in 2018. “And, in another breakthrough for justice, we have discovered these two men also committed another rape and murder in 1983, taking the life of Linda Lansen. Today, we can deliver answers for Linda’s family and peace for her soul.”
Today, prosecutors obtained indictments from a grand jury that charge Amos Robinson, 58, and Abron Scott, 57, with both sexual assaults and both murders.
The men are currently in prison, serving life sentences for killing Carlos Orellana—kidnapping and beating him, then running him over with his own car—in Oldsmar, Florida on October 22, 1983.
In the 1990s, Robinson and another man were charged with the September 5, 1983 beating death of Hermenia Castro in Tampa, but the case never made it to trial due to a lack of evidence. During his time in prison, Robinson has also killed two of his fellow inmates. Investigations of other unsolved murders from 1983 are ongoing.
“Because of our Conviction Review Unit, we now know Amos Robinson and Abron Scott carried out a sinister spree of rapes and murders in Tampa in 1983,” Warren said. “These men are serial murderers and rapists. Although they are already serving life sentences, their crimes against Barbara Grams and Linda Lansen cannot—and will not—go unpunished.”
Multiple law enforcement agencies were instrumental in this two-year effort, with their detectives and resources carrying these cases forward:
- The Florida Department of Law Enforcement
- The Tampa Police Department
- The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office
These partners worked together to unravel the cold cases. The DNA sample in Barbara Grams’ case did not include any material from Robert DuBoise, but it did include material from two other men. Those results were matched against a statewide database that contains DNA samples from certain convicted felons, generating the initial leads on Amos Robinson and Abron Scott.
Over the course of months, FDLE and TPD detectives gathered more evidence and built a case against them that prosecutors could take to court for the murder of Barbara Grams. The Conviction Review Unit’s supervisor, Assistant State Attorney Teresa Hall, began looking at other unsolved murders in the Tampa Bay area from that same time.
In 2021, she contacted HCSO about the unsolved murder of Linda Lansen. Cold case detectives had reopened it twice over the decades, but despite hard work, no viable suspects were developed. Now, with the leads on Robinson and Scott, detectives were able to gather new evidence. They could finally determine the truth: these two men are the ones who murdered Linda.
On July 11, 1983, 41-year-old Linda Lansen was found at the end of Memorial Highway in the Town ‘n’ Country area of Tampa. She had been raped, shot in the head, and dumped in the bushes. On August 19, 1983, 19-year-old Barbara Grams was found behind a dentist’s office in the Tampa Heights area. She had been raped and beaten.
Family members share that these two women were wonderful and kind, and the community lost so much when they were taken from us. Linda was a freelance photographer who grew up in New York and had moved to Tampa as an adult.
Barbara was a friendly, outgoing teenager from Tampa. She had a job at the mall and liked to walk to stay fit. After decades of false closure, or no closure at all, their surviving family members now have answers.
“When it happened, it was shock and disbelief—whereas now it’s more retrospective. This is a day that I never ever thought would come, so to be able to have somebody accountable for what they did—not only to my aunt, but to everyone else and every other family they touched is beyond anything I would have expected. It means everything to me,” said Linda Sheffield, Linda Lansen’s niece, close friend, and roommate.
“When we created our Conviction Review Unit, it was the first in Tampa Bay and one of the first in Florida. The CRU reviews plausible claims of innocence. It’s there to safeguard against wrongful convictions. As we see today, in the rare case when the wrong person is convicted, the actual criminals get away with the crime. But for these victims, that stops now,” Warren said. “This shows the power of a Conviction Review Unit to right wrongs, uncover the truth, and deliver justice for victims—even after almost 40 years.”