Saturday, February 24, 2018
News Roundup

Trial continues in death of lottery winner Abraham Shakespeare

TAMPA — It was all about lottery loot and looting Thursday, about Abraham Shakespeare's squandered millions and how Dorice "DeeDee" Moore took the remnants — a million-dollar mansion in Lakeland and several million dollars more in assets she claimed Shakespeare turned over for 8 cents on the dollar.

Detectives said the slain jackpot winner may not have gotten even the 8 cents.

But it was Moore's behavior that, at least for a while, took center stage in the second day of her trial on charges of first-degree murder.

As she listened to a Polk County homicide detective testify, she frantically shuffled through mountains of documents and whispered excitedly to her lawyer, Byron Hileman. That brought strong rebuke from Hillsborough Circuit Court Judge Emmett Battles, who stopped the detective's testimony. He told Moore that this was her last warning. She could not, the judge said, make such demonstrations in front of the jury.

Hileman could be overheard trying to calm Moore down, saying, "If he thinks you can't control yourself, he's not going to let you stay in here."

Moore protested, saying she had to find documents.

"I understand how strongly you feel; you just can't show it," Hileman said.

Later on in the trial, another detective, Dave Clark, couldn't hide his feelings in a profanity-laced recorded interrogation of Moore after Shakespeare had turned up missing.

Minus the expletives, the Polk County homicide detective demanded, "Where is Abraham? The more (lies) I hear, the more I'm thinking Abraham is dead."

She kept insisting he was hiding out to avoid paying taxes and child support. She claimed Shakespeare even paid $5,000 to a cousin to deliver a signed birthday card to his mother. Detectives say that was a ruse to make the mother think Shakespeare was still alive.

The day of trial had begun with Polk County Detective Christopher Lynn's layout of documents that Moore produced in 2009 showing how she took over Shakespeare's Lakeland mansion and assets a year before his bullet-riddled body was found buried on her property in Plant City.

Shakespeare won a $30 million lottery in 2006 and took a $17 million payoff — much of which he loaned to acquaintances for informal IOUs. Moore called it loansharking. He was missing for months before authorities found his body in January 2010 under a concrete slab.

On Thursday morning the detective said documents indicated that Moore paid $185,000 in cash in an "asset purchase agreement" to take ownership of about $3.5 million in unsecured loans. Another document showed that she purchased his $1.2 million mansion in Lakeland for $650,000.

The documents included Shakespeare's signature in block print.

Moore said she gave Shakespeare $835,000 in cash that he stuffed into a duffle bag. The detective could find no evidence that Moore actually paid the cash.

In addition, Moore described to the detective how she created a limited liability company in early 2009 called Abraham Shakespeare LLC. She made herself the registered agent. Shakespeare was first given access to the account, but his name was removed just days later.

Moore said he took his name off to avoid taxes, Lynn said.

The detective said Moore told him she had been trying to help Shakespeare. He was trying to avoid paying child support and hiding money because of a lawsuit that challenged his ownership of the winning lottery ticket, she said.

Lynn also described how Moore sold three of Shakespeare's vehicles, including a $98,000 BMW and a Ford truck. Lynn said Moore told him she either kept the money because she was owed it or used it to settle Shakespeare's financial obligations.

The trial adjourned late in the afternoon after a jury listened to a November 2009 recorded call that Moore made to Shakespeare's cousin, Cedric Edom, who had filed a missing person's report with Polk County investigators.

Detectives listened in as she called from their office. She told Edom she was calling from a cow pasture and had manure on her shoes.

In the call, she begged Edom to say his missing persons report was false. She offered to bail him out of jail if he got arrested.

Edom refused.

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

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