Plant City Courier
Dee Dee Moore found guilty in Florida lottery winner's murder
TAMPA - Prosecutors called her a con artist who stole the last of a Florida Lottery winner's millions, then killed him. Defense attorneys said Dorice Donegan "Dee Dee" Moore saw Abraham Shakespeare killed at the hands of drug dealers and concealed his death because she feared retribution against her family. After three hours of deliberation, a 12-person jury weighed the evidence and chose to believe prosecutors. Moore has been found guilty of first degree murder in the death of Shakespeare, who won a $30 million jackpot in 2006. She was quickly sentenced after the verdict to life in prison without parole.Moore, 40, opted this morning not to take the witness stand. "I will not testify," Moore told Circuit Judge Emmett Lamar Battles. "It keeps my family safe." In hours of recorded interviews between Moore and detectives that were played for the jury, Moore said Shakespeare was killed in a drug deal turned sour. On the tapes, Moore said she concealed the truth of Shakespeare's death because the drug dealers threatened her life if she contacted police. Closing arguments wrapped up this afternoon. Assistant State Attorney Jay Pruner told jurors that Moore went on a "campaign of manipulation and control" to fleece Shakespeare of the last of his millions then took "calculated, methodical steps" to "commit murder and to conceal Abraham Shakespeare's death." Moore's attorney, Byron Hileman, told the jury his client was a "panicked, emotionally unstable woman" who found herself in a desperate situation after Shakespeare's death. Hileman, who did not dispute that Moore gave different accounts of how Shakespeare died and concealed the truth of his death for 10 months, said Moore was fearful of the people who killed the lottery winner. Detectives "did not seriously investigate others" who had "stronger motives to harm Mr. Shakespeare," Hileman said. During the trial, which has lasted two weeks, prosecutors painted Moore as a con artist who fleeced Shakespeare for the last of his millions, shooting him dead and hiding the truth from the lottery winner's relatives. Moore went to great lengths to conceal Shakespeare's death, Pruner said, including writing bogus letters and sending text messages to Shakespeare's family to make it appear he was still alive. Moore also paid a man to call the lottery winner's mother, Elizabeth Walker, pretending to be Shakespeare and telling Walker that he's OK but wants to be left alone, Pruner said. Shakespeare, 43, was shot twice in the chest in April 2009 and buried in a deep hole under thick concrete on Turkey Creek property owned by Moore and her boyfriend. Shakespeare's body was found in late January 2010. Moore has maintained her innocence since before her arrest in February of that year. Her defense attorneys said Moore was framed for the crime by a man who owed Shakespeare money and that the evidence against their client is circumstantial. Stay with TBO.com for updates.