TAMPA, Fla. — A man who served 37 years in prison for a Tampa rape and murder is set to be freed after new DNA evidence has been presented.
Hillsborough County State Attorney Andrew Warren has announced that new DNA evidence has cleared Robert Duboise. All of this is the result of an effort by the Innocence Project who filed a petition with the Hillsborough County State Attorney’s Office.
What You Need To Know
- Hillsborough State Attorney Andrew Warren announced man exonerated after 37 years in prison
- Robert Duboise was convicted in 1983 murder of 19-year-old woman
- New DNA evidence cleared him, Warren said
Duboise, now 56, was convicted in 1983 for the murder and attempted rape of Barbara Grams.
The case hinged primarily on testimony from a jailhouse informant and bite mark evidence. Rape kit samples taken from Grams were retested using new technology, which cleared Duboise from any involvement.
On Thursday, Warren held a hearing paving the way for DuBoise’s release.
"The court is going to find the defendant's (Duboise) conviction no longer can be supported by fact or law so I'm going to grant the...motion," Warren said. "Just for practical purposes for getting him out of prison today which is the court's intent, I'm going to grant the motion and modify the sentence."
DNA did link another man to the case.
That person is now the subject of a criminal investigation. Warren has not released any information in that case but said that person is not a threat to the public.
So, after spending most of his life behind bars, DuBois has a list of things he wants to do – mostly things he's never had a chance to do.
"Never used an iPhone, never used a computer, never been to a Walmart, never been to a Home Depot." DuBois said.
But he's making one thing a priority.
"I'm just happy to get home to my family."