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Friday, Oct 28, 2016
Plant City Courier

Accused killer of lottery winner competent for trial, judge rules

TAMPA - The woman charged in the slaying of Florida Lottery winner Abraham Shakespeare is competent to stand trial, a judge has ruled. Dorice Donegan "Dee Dee" Moore understands the charges against her "reasonably and rationally," Circuit Judge E. Lamar Battles said at a hearing Monday. "I'm going to accept the fact of her being completely lucid and without psychosis," Battles said. "She is competent to proceed and we will proceed." Jury selection for Moore's trial begins next week.
Moore, 40, is charged with first-degree murder and illegal wiretapping in the slaying of Shakespeare, a Lakeland man who won a $30 million Lotto jackpot in November 2006. Shakespeare, 43, was shot twice in the chest in April 2009 and buried under a concrete slab on a Turkey Creek property owned by Moore and her boyfriend, Hillsborough County sheriff's deputies said. Shakespeare's body was found in January 2010. During the nine months Shakespeare's relatives thought he was missing, Moore told investigators the lottery winner was probably in Orlando or Miami and that he wanted to be left alone, prosecutors said. Moore wrote a letter, sent text messages and had someone call Shakespeare's mother, all while posing as Shakespeare so relatives would believe he was still alive, detectives said. Her accounts of Shakespeare's disappearance — and later, the circumstances surrounding his death — kept changing, prosecutors said. Moore was arrested in February 2010 and has maintained her innocence. Psychologist Richard Carpenter, testifying at Moore's hearing on Monday, said although Moore appears to have mild attention deficit disorder, she is bright woman with "very good social skills and a good social persona." Carpenter said Moore has a tendency to go off on tangents but "is not in the delusional or psychotic camp." Battles heard testimony from two other psychologists at previous hearings regarding Moore's competency. One of the doctors testified Moore "discloses so much information she comes across as confused" and that she "can't testify rationally," Battles said. At the hearing, Battles also ruled on pre-trial motions submitted by Moore's attorney, the most crucial of which was evidence prosecutors want to use at the trial. Among the evidence is five hours of interviews, spread out over two days, that detectives conducted with Moore about a week after Shakespeare's body was found. Defense attorney Byron Hileman argued that during the interviews, detectives "falsely represented that they made the call on whether her ex-husband, James Moore, would be arrested and charged with first-degree murder, leaving her son, R.J., without his parents." In his motion, Hileman said detectives made false promises to Moore "to elicit statements from her" and that the officers "assured Ms. Moore that her confession would reap immediate benefits." Battles ruled that the detectives' interviews are admissible, saying Moore voluntarily spoke to them and wasn't pressured into talking. Before she met Shakespeare, Moore owned a nursing staffing agency and at one point earned about $200,000 a year. She became a part of Shakespeare's life in 2007, when she told him she wanted to write a book about him, detectives said. She eventually became something of a financial advisor to Shakespeare, who received nearly $13 million in a lump sum cash payment after winning the lottery. Detectives said Moore siphoned off more than $3 million of the winnings before his death.

rreyes@tampatrib.com (813) 259-7290