Tuesday, December 12, 2017
News Roundup

In recordings at murder trial, DeeDee Moore explains how to dig up lottery winner's body

TAMPA — Dorice "DeeDee" Moore admitted to almost everything but murder.

In nine hours of secretly made recordings played before a jury Tuesday, Moore was heard giving a sheriff's informer the .38-caliber handgun used to kill Lakeland lottery winner Abraham Shakespeare. She instructed him on how to file away the serial number and even wipe her fingerprints off the battery in the laser sighting.

She is heard showing the informer Shakespeare's grave on her property in Plant City. She gave him a shovel and a diagram showing how to dig at an angle under a concrete slab, then go "straight down."

She brought along a cattle trough and told the informer to pour kerosene in it to burn Shakespeare's mummified corpse.

In the recordings, she told the informer to "bring marshmallows."

Moore, 40, listened all day Tuesday on headphones. In the ninth hour of the recordings, she lay her head down on the defense table and sobbed.

But on the recordings, she never says she pulled the trigger.

The recordings comprised the most extraordinary day of testimony so far in Moore's trial.

She is charged with the first-degree murder of Shakespeare, 43, an illiterate sanitation worker who won $17 million in the lottery in 2006.

By 2009, he had turned over to Moore his million-dollar Lakeland mansion and the remnants of his squandered fortune.

Then, he disappeared.

The recordings covered the month of January 2010, when Polk County detectives were closing in on Moore. Unknown to her, they had enlisted her confidant, Greg Smith, as an informer. He carried a recorder in his pocket whenever they met, all the while offering to help her evade arrest.

Smith did that, he testified, by pretending to be Shakespeare in phone calls to the lottery winner's mother and by leaving a counterfeit letter, written in Shakespeare's name, in her mailbox.

Detectives overheard all the plotting.

A crucial recording was made on Jan. 21, 2010, when Moore first admitted to Smith the possibility of Shakespeare's demise.

She told him "Ronald" did it. Ronald Watson, she said, was a Miami drug dealer who shot Shakespeare in the shoulder during an argument over a drug deal. If Shakespeare was dead, she said, it was from that gunshot.

The drug dealer, she said, threatened her to keep quiet. "Ronald called me one day to scare me," she said on the recording. "He sat outside of my son's school and called the phone to let me know that he knew where my son went to school."

Throughout all the subsequent recordings, that was the one story she never changed.

But detectives say she made up the whole story about Ronald.

During the same time, Smith, the informer, arranged for Moore to meet a "fall guy" who was willing to falsely confess to killing Shakespeare because he was already headed for prison on a 25-year drug charge. Smith and Moore talked about negotiating a payment and covering the man's purchases at the prison canteen.

The fall guy turned out to be an undercover Lake Wales police officer.

In the recordings, Smith insisted the fall guy had to have the murder weapon and know where Shakespeare was buried. Smith said it was important to move the body, possibly dump it at sea, to avoid Moore's incrimination.

He suggested the fall guy help dig. They could get it done in one evening. "It won't take us two hours," he told Moore.

Jurors have yet to hear a recording of Moore's meeting with the undercover officer. The Polk County Sheriff's Office says she offered him $50,000 to confess.

By Jan. 25, 2010, it was all arranged. On the recordings, she is heard reminding Smith to wipe the gun clean. She is heard driving Smith to a property on State Road 60 in Plant City she had bought with Shakespeare's money.

That was where he lay.

Moore is heard telling Smith he would find a "surprise" when he exhumed Shakespeare. In the lottery winner's sock, or in a pouch around his waist, she said, Smith would likely find $67,000 in cash.

She said Smith could pay the fall guy $50,000 with the dead man's own money.

The next day, detectives arrested her.

John Barry can be reached at (813) 226-3383 or [email protected]

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