Jury selection underway in lotto winner murder trial | News
Tampa, Florida -- The murder trial begins Monday for the woman accused of murdering a lottery winner after draining his bank accounts.
Photo Gallery: Pictures of Doris "Dee Dee" Moore
Investigators say Dee Dee Moore cozied up to Lakeland lottery winner Abraham Shakespeare by claiming she was writing a book about him. Instead, detectives say she swindled him out of his winnings and killed him.
Shakespeare was missing for months before his body was found in January, 2010.
During jury selection Monday, 52 of the 100 potential jurors raised their hand when asked if they were familiar with the case. They will now each have to be questioned individually about what they know and how much they know.
Dee Dee Moore's Elaborate Schemes
Just days ago, Judge Emmett Battles found Dee Dee Moore competent to stand trial.
Still, when when the jury that's picked Monday in Tampa hears about her plots and schemes, you have to wonder what they'll think of her mental state.
Dee Dee Moore -- whose legal name is Dorice Moore -- spun an elaborate tale with tears and text messages after lottery winner Abraham Shakespeare vanished in April, 2009.
With Shakespeare missing for months, detectives started closing in on Moore.
Hillsborough Sheriff David Gee says she tried to dodge suspicion by scamming Shakespeare's family -- even as investigators say she knew Shakespeare's body was sitting, buried, behind a Plant City home the whole time.
Moore "wrote a letter to the victim's mother claiming to be the victim and to be all right," Gee said. Moore also "used the victim's cell phone and sent text messages to the victim's friends and family."
Detectives say Moore murdered Shakespeare after draining him of millions in lottery winnings.
Moore says no, no -- she took over Shakespeare's assets so he could disappear and get away from people asking him for money.
"The money was like a curse to him. And now it's become a curse to me," Moore told reporters in 2010. During the same brief interview, she cried as she said, "God knows I would never take another human being's life."
Finally, in January, 2010, detectives found Shakespeare's remains sealed under a concrete slab at a Plant City house.
Moore was arrested days later and has since been charged with his murder.
Paying Someone to Take the Rap
During this trial, we should hear from an informant who is a key to the case.
The man says Dee Dee Moore turned to him hoping to get his help covering up this crime.
Months after Shakespeare was last seen alive, detectives were focusing on Moore as their suspect.
Desperate and scared, deputies say Moore turned to an acquaintance of hers named Greg Smith, who was not involved in the original crime.
According to investigators, Moore asked for Smith's help concealing the murder.
What a mistake for her.
She had no idea Smith was already signed up as a sheriff's informant. Smith was working with detectives on a mission to get close to Moore and get her to spill some secrets.
Hillsborough County Sheriff David Gee said Dee Dee Moore trusted Greg Smith so much, she tried to get Smith's help finding a prisoner to take the rap for killing Shakespeare.
"Moore approached [Smith], inquiring if he knew anyone that was awaiting sentencing to prison and would be willing to admit to the killing of Abraham Shakespeare in exchange for $50,000," Gee said.
To get that $50,000 from Moore, Smith and the hired prisoner also "would have to dig up the body and move it to another location," Gee said.
Deputies eventually unearthed Shakespeare's body in its original location, beneath a concrete slab at a Plant City house.
Sealed Under a Slab
Jurors chosen Monday are sure to hear a lot about one of the strangest parts of this strange case: the bizarre way Abraham Shakespeare's body was hidden -- buried beneath a concrete slab behind a Plant City home.
For nine months, the family of lottery winner Abraham Shakespeare was worried sick. He had been last seen alive in April, 2009.
Then, in January, 2010, sheriff's detectives made an awful discovery at a house in Plant City. Shakespeare had been shot twice and buried in a hole under a concrete slab.
"I'm missing my little brother, what ain't gonna be back no more," Shakespeare's brother Robert Brown sobbed after the discovery. "Dead and gone, and everything -- he ain't coming back."
Hillsborough County Sheriff David Gee said Dee Dee Moore had gotten someone to use a backhoe to dig a hole at the house for construction debris "and later had him come back and fill in the hole."
The timeline helps show how suspicious this all is.
Gee says Shakespeare was killed on April 6th or 7th. The house where he was buried was bought after that -- with one of Shakespeare's checks.
Dee Dee Moore's ex-boyfriend became the home's listed owner.
That's just one of the pieces of evidence that prosecutors say will prove Dee Dee Moore is responsible for Shakespeare's death.
The Evidence Pointing to Moore
Dee Dee Moore has accused a long list of people of being Abraham Shakespeare's real killer. But the jury that's selected Monday in Tampa will hear a different long list.
It's the evidence that points right to Moore as the murderer.
Moore has denied it to 10 News. "God knows I would never take another human being's life," she tearfully told a reporter before she was arrested.
Days later, after her arrest, when 10 News reporter Kathryn Bursch asked, "Are you innocent?" Moore replied with a clear, "Yes."
She has also denied it to investigators, instead accusing a long list of other people.
"Including being killed by her 14-year old son, her attorney, Mr. Shakespeare's cousin, a drug dealer..." listed a prosecutor at one of Moore's court appearances.
But you can't deny the power of pictures. Detectives tracked down surveillance video from a Walmart store that shows Moore buying trash bags, plastic sheeting, and duct tape.
Sheriff's documents show Shakespeare was shot twice with a .38 caliber pistol owned by Moore. Hillsborough Sheriff David Gee says Moore even showed that gun to a sheriff's informant.
The Plant City home where detectives found Shakespeare's body buried under a concrete slab had Moore's ex-boyfriend as its listed owner.
Detectives say Moore has given them several different stories of who shot Abraham Shakespeare, but in each story, she says she was there when it happened.
The trial is expected to last about two weeks. Prosecutors are not seeking the death penalty.
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