DeeDee Moore charged with first degree murder in lottery winner's homicide

TAMPA — Dorice Donegan "DeeDee" Moore said she offered to help Lotto winner Abraham Shakespeare with his finances out of "the goodness of her heart."

But the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office charged Moore with first-degree murder Friday night, outlining in her arrest report a trail of deceit and manipulation aimed at putting his winnings in her pocket.

The probable cause document used to support the murder charge said Moore has provided several accounts of how Shakespeare was killed in April. In every account, though, she admitted being present, the report said.

And she identified a .38-caliber Smith & Wesson revolver that belonged to her as the weapon used to kill Shakespeare with two gunshot wounds to the chest.

"There is no credible evidence linking anyone other than DeeDee Moore to the homicide of Abraham Shakespeare," it said.

Moore had previously been charged as an accessory after the fact to first-degree murder. Hillsborough Sheriff David Gee announced the additional charge Friday night and said the investigation was continuing.

The probable cause affidavit raises questions about the role of a Plant City lawyer who facilitated the transfer of properties from Shakespeare to Moore's medical staffing company last year.

D. Howard Stitzel III has not been charged in connection with the case. He told detectives that he spoke to Shakespeare, whom he also represented in a child support matter, on Moore's phone on Oct. 6.

But Moore told authorities that she and Stitzel never actually spoke to Shakespeare and that she asked Stitzel to say they had a conversation, and he agreed to lie to authorities to help her.

In a controlled phone call to the lawyer's cell phone, Moore told him she was worried that law enforcement would find out that she and Stitzel had not spoken to Shakespeare on that date and wanted to confirm what he had told them.

Stitzel told Moore she needed to stop talking to authorities, the report shows.

He made no admission that he had lied to detectives, but they said it was apparent he knew Moore had Shakespeare's cell phone in October, and he had not talked to the victim.

Shakespeare's body was found under a slab of concrete in Plant City last month. Stitzel ran his law office from a home on the same property, which is owned by Moore's boyfriend, Shar Krasniqi.

Relatives reported Shakespeare missing in November, but no one had seen him since April. Investigators say he was killed on April 6 or 7, and that by that month, Moore "was in virtually complete control'' of his money .

The 42-year-old Polk County man collected about $12.7 million after taxes when he won the Florida lottery in 2006.

By the time Moore appeared in his life in 2008 saying she wanted to write a book about him, he had given away or loaned the majority of his winnings. Shakespeare still had about $1.5 million in cash and assets of about $3 million.

According to the arrest affidavit, Moore went after the money.

In December 2008, Shakespeare liquidated an annuities account worth about $250,000. The following month, that money was transferred to Moore's medical staffing business, American Medical Professionals.

Detectives tracked the money to several recipients, including Moore's boyfriend, the report shows.

Money and assets continued to flow from Shakespeare to Moore. On Jan. 9, 2009, Shakespeare signed a quit claim deed transferring his nearly $1.1 million Polk County home to Moore's company.

Moore initially told detectives she paid Shakespeare $500,000 in cash for the home. But she changed her story twice last month, first saying she didn't pay him because she worried he would use the money to buy drugs. Four days later, she said she didn't pay him because he did not want to pay the gift tax owed, according to the report.

A $1 million annuities account in Shakespeare's name was cashed out in early February 2009 and deposited into a Bank of America account opened by Moore in the name of Abraham Shakespeare LLC. Moore maneuvered to get Shakespeare taken off the account, which meant he no longer had access to the $1 million.

By the end of that February, the account had a balance of about $44,000.

Authorities say $350,000 of Shakespeare's money was used to buy the property where his body eventually would be buried. Moore also bought multiple fancy cars, including a $70,000 Chevrolet Corvette for her boyfriend and a $90,000 Hummer.

During the month of February 2009, Stitzel and Judith Haggins, who acted as Shakespeare's driver and personal assistant, each received about $20,000 from the account of Abraham Shakespeare LLC.

In all, authorities say, Moore bought more than $3.5 million in assets from Shakespeare for less than 5 cents on the dollar.

By the beginning of 2010, Moore was busy telling detectives one version after another about what became of Shakespeare, the affidavit says.

In an interrogation on Jan. 25, Moore said drug dealers who came with him to her office killed him, grabbing her gun out of an open safe to use as a weapon.

When investigators caught her in a lie, she alluded to her son, 14 years old at the time, as the person who shot him.

Detectives said that near the end of that interview, she asked if she could "keep all of her things'' if she told the truth.

Five days later, in an interview with Hillsborough investigators, Moore said Stitzel came to her office with two "white drug dealers'' and an argument developed, and Shakespeare tried to shoot the lawyer but his gun jammed. Stitzel grabbed her gun from the safe and shot him in the chest, she said. The lawyer and one of the drug dealers left, and the second one told her to have a hole dug and he would take care of the body, detectives said Moore alleged.

Mike Smith, an undercover officer from the Lake Wales Police Department, helped break the case. Introduced to Moore as a criminal awaiting sentence, he agreed to take responsibility for the murder for $50,000. This led to the disclosure of where Shakespeare was buried.

Moore bought the backhoe used to bury Shakespeare on April 3, three days before investigators believe he was killed.

She asked her ex-husband to use it to dig a hole under the pretense that it was for trash and concrete, the affidavit said.

DeeDee Moore charged with first degree murder in lottery winner's homicide 02/19/10 [Last modified: Saturday, February 20, 2010 12:22am]

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