George Tragos Secures Release Of Wrongfully Convicted Man After 17 Years In Prison
In 2001, Dwight Dubose was convicted of murder in Hillsborough County and sentenced to life without parole. On April 24, 2018, after 17 years in prison, he was released because of exculpatory DNA evidence.
The victim, Freddy F. Mobley, Jr., was found strangled in the area of Jackson Heights, Tampa on February 18, 2001. A man named Seymour approached the investigator several days after the crime, because he was concerned that people were trying to connect him with the murder. He claimed that he had attempted to sell Mobley crack cocaine on the day he was killed. After watching Mobley leave, Seymour recalled he saw a man grab Mobley into a choke hold before he left the scene. He identified Dubose as the attacker, as did three other witnesses. Dubose said that he had been in the area that morning, but had no connection to the murder of Mobley. There was no physical evidence linking Dubose to the murder.
In 2007, after being in prison for seven years, Dubose contacted The Innocence Project of Florida. By 2011, the Innocence Project filed a motion with the Court to allow for DNA testing. Apparently, when Mobley was being strangled, he was wearing a glove on one of his hands. Attorneys believe that he would have reached out with his opposite ungloved hand and attempted to scratch his attacker, leaving a trace of DNA under his fingernails. In 2014, the DNA results of the organic material discovered under Mobley’s fingernails came back: it did not match Dubose’ DNA. At that point, The Innocence Project contacted George Tragos and asked if he would undertake Dubose’s case in conjunction with the Innocence Project. Tragos accepted the representation of Dubose and co counseled with The Innocence Project of Florida.
The results of the DNA test were used by Mr. Tragos in convincing the State Attorney’s Office to immediately release Dwight Dubose. On August 24, 2018, Dwight’s son and grandchildren greeted him as he walked out a free man. He is now living with his family in Tampa, Florida.