TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Nearly 40 years after the rape and murder of a Tampa teenager, the State Attorney’s Office for the 13th Judicial Circuit says new information in the cold case will come to light.
Barbara Grams, age 19, was killed in 1983. Her body was found in Tampa in August of that year. Originally, the case itself wasn’t considered cold. A Tampa man, Robert DuBoise, was arrested for her murder at age 18.
“This cold case is connected to the exoneration of Robert DuBoise in 2020 and the vicious rape and murder of 19-year-old Barbara Grams, whose body was found in Tampa on August 18, 1983,” the Attorney’s Office said in a media release.
After being convicted for the murder, DuBoise was put on death row. Five years of prison later, amid an appeals process, his penalty was changed to a life sentence.
In 2020, DuBoise was exonerated, with the 13th District’s Conviction Review Unit, along with the Florida Innocence Project, proving he didn’t commit the crime. Attorneys working with the CRUs found rape kit samples from Grams’ case but DuBoise’s DNA did not match.
After serving 37 years in prison for a crime he did not commit, DuBoise walked out of prison as a free man.
The announcement from SAO13 said there was a “major development” in the Grams cold case. On Thursday, State Attorney Andrew Warren will hold a briefing, expected to come at 3 p.m.
According to the office, “State Attorney Warren will provide a complete overview on the groundbreaking process leading to this major development and will be available to answer questions following the announcement.”