Governor signs death warrant for Oscar Ray Bolin
TAMPA (FOX 13) - Gov. Rick Scott signed a death warrant Friday, ordering the execution of a convicted serial killer from the Tampa Bay area.
An execution date for Oscar Ray Bolin has been set for January 7th at 6 p.m. for the 1986 murder of Teri Lynn Matthews.
Matthews was kidnapped from a Land O' Lakes post office. She was found on the side of a road in Pasco County wrapped in a blanket, beaten and stabbed.
Bolin has also been convicted of two other murders in Hillsborough County: Stephanie Collins and Natalie Holley, both also killed in 1986.
Bolin's cases have taken several turns. Each of the convictions and sentences have been overturned multiple times - and, in each case, he has been convicted again.
In 2014, a review by the Office of the Inspector General brought another twist: the OIG determined agents in the FBI Crime Lab, including one who worked on Bolin's cases, were falsifying evidence.
Bolin's wife, Rosalie Bolin, believes this is enough to toss out the convictions again.
"This has national implications," she told FOX 13 Friday evening. "I will access every single resource that is available to me as a United States citizen and I will not stop."
Rosalie Bolin met her husband when she was a public defender working on his case. She maintains his innocence.
"I'm angry," she said. "Oscar has been denied due process... I would expect the Attorney General of the United States to step in."
But the bombshell evidence in the Matthews case came in the form of testimony from Oscar Ray Bolin's half- brother, who said he witnessed Bolin using a club to beat a woman wrapped in a sheet.
That was a major reason three separate juries convicted Bolin in this case, and a reason the final conviction, along with the subsequent death sentence, has been upheld.
Legal expert Anthony Rickman points out Oscar Ray Bolin has now exhausted all of his appeals in the Matthews case.
"Once you exhaust your appeals, the Governor must sign a death warrant within 30 days of your last appeal," Rickman said, adding he expects defense attorneys to try to appeal the execution up to the U.S. Supreme Court until the minute Bolin is put to death.
Rickman also said even if it's determined evidence was falsified in the other two cases, it likely won't make a difference in the Matthews case.
"They can throw out those convictions completely," he said. "It doesn't matter because he's sentenced to death on a case that the state court has found him guilty of murder, that death warrant has been signed and he is set to be executed on this case."
FOX 13 spoke with the mother of one of the other victims who said she is "relieved."