ST. PETERSBURG:- A Florida man was formally cleared Monday of a 1983 rape and murder that DNA evidence proved he did not commit after a long-ago trial that relied on a sketchy jailhouse informant and faulty bite mark analysis. Robert DuBoise was released from prison last month. A hearing before Hillsborough County Circuit Judge Christopher Nash resulted in an order wiping away the previous convictions and life sentence and also removing DuBoise from the state’s sex offender registry.
DuBoise, 55, was convicted in the 1983 murder of 19-year-old Barbara Grams. She had been raped and beaten while walking home from her job at a Tampa mall. He was initially sentenced to death, then resentenced to life in prison. The hearing Monday came after DuBoise was released Aug. 27 from the Hardee Correctional Institution in central Florida, where he was reunited with his mother and sister. He has since been living in a Tampa center that provides housing for people who were wrongfully imprisoned and has said he must learn the ways of modern life, from shopping at a Walmart to using an iPhone. The hearing that she concluded two people were involved in the Grams assault, neither of them DuBoise. Given that, the killing of the teenager 37 years ago will return to the unsolved file.