TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Despite the suspension of 13th Judicial District State Attorney Andrew Warren, the office is moving forward with pursuing murder charges, and capital punishment, against two suspects in a pair of Tampa cold case murders from the 1980s.
Amos Robinson and Abron Scott were announced as the true suspects in the murders of 19-year-old Barbara Grams and 41-year-old Linda Lansen.
The suspects’ identities were revealed at a news conference the same day Warren was suspended from office by Gov. Ron DeSantis. Warren’s appointed replacement, Susan Lopez, is now seeking the death penalty for both men involved in the murders of Grams and Lansen.
The state attorney’s office filed in court to pursue the death penalty as punishment for the murders, against both suspects. Court records show the process to bring capital punishment to Robinson and Scott began on Sept. 27.
Robinson is currently serving three life sentences, while Scott is serving a single life sentence. Warren said Robinson had killed additional victims while in prison, adding to the life sentence he was serving.
Before DNA evidence revealed Robinson and Scott’s involvement in the murder of Grams, a Tampa man spent 37 years in jail for her death, before being exonerated in 2020, thanks to efforts from SAO13’s Conviction Review Unit and the Florida Innocence Project.
At the event revealing Robinson and Scott’s identities, suspended Warren said the new evidence had led to the investigation finding new leads.
“In 2018, my office created a conviction review unit to find and fix wrongful convictions,” Warren said at the time. “Two years ago, that unit exonerated Robert DuBoise. He’d spent 37 years in prison for a rape and murder that he did not commit. Our investigation found DNA evidence that established Robert did not murder Barbara Grams. That DNA evidence did provide new leads, and launched a fresh investigation.”
Robinson and Scott were both also said to be under investigation for additional cold cases from the 1980s in the Tampa Bay area, according to Warren.
“We’ve now connected Amos Robinson to four murders in a span of 103 days in Tampa in 1983, and Abron Scott to three murders,” Warren said at the time. “These men are serial murderers and rapists, and although they’re already serving a life sentence, their crimes against Barbara Grams and Linda Lansen cannot, and will not, go unpunished.”
Now, Lopez is pursuing the ultimate punishment for the two men, a death sentence. In recently filed court documents, the State Attorney’s Office filed their notice of intent to seek the death penalty against both men for both cases.
They were filed in Hillsborough County Court on Sept. 27. If both men are found guilty during a trial or plead guilty in the capital felony cases, Florida will be able to put them to death, though the final decision will be up to a jury during a sentencing trial.