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'Helper' arrested in killing of Lotto winner Abraham Shakespeare

Dorice Donegan “DeeDee” Moore sits in the central booking section of the Orient Road Jail after being taken into custody on Tuesday in connection with the murder of Abraham Shakespeare.

DANIEL WALLACE | Times

Dorice Donegan “DeeDee” Moore sits in the central booking section of the Orient Road Jail after being taken into custody on Tuesday in connection with the murder of Abraham Shakespeare.

TAMPA — Dorice Donegan "DeeDee" Moore said she managed Abraham Shakespeare's assets and helped him hide when the demands on his lottery winnings became too much to bear.

But Hillsborough County Sheriff David Gee said she did much more than that.

Moore hired a man with a backhoe to dig a hole for the 42-year-old Lakeland man's body, Gee said. She bought bags of lime to bury with him. And she even had the .38 caliber pistol she claimed killed the man she said she "helped disappear."

On Tuesday, Moore was charged as an accessory after the fact to the former day laborer's slaying and was taken to a Hillsborough County jail.

Gee said Moore could still be charged with murder if that is what the "very active" investigation determines.

Earlier in the week, she talked with Bay News 9 and other news media outside the Lakeland gated community where she lived in what had been Shakespeare's $1.1 million home.

"I am not scared of going to jail for murder because there is no jury that is going to convict me," she said. "They're saying I took a gun, put it up and killed another human being. I would never ever, ever do that."

But, according an arrest report, she did a host of other things that drew the suspicion of the Polk County Sheriff's Office and made her a person of interest.

Hillsborough detectives say Shakespeare died April 6 or April 7 in the single-story ranch home at 5732 State Road 60 E in Plant City. Arrest reports cite several eyewitness accounts of what happened next:

Moore hired a man with a backhoe to dig a hole outside the neighboring law firm offices at 5802 State Road 60 E and told him it was for construction debris. The operator later filled in the hole.

In December, she wrote Shakespeare's mother, Elizabeth Walker, a letter posing as the victim and said he was fine.

She used his cell phone to text his friends and family to assure them that he was okay.

After Christmas, Moore had someone pose as Shakespeare and call his mother.

And she approached a man and asked if he knew anyone awaiting sentencing who would take $50,000 in exchange for admitting to the murder.

Moore arranged for Shakespeare's body to be exhumed from its makeshift grave on Jan. 25 and gave a witness the .38 caliber Smith & Wesson revolver she said was the murder weapon.

She pointed out the 30-foot by 30-foot concrete slab that covered Shakespeare's corpse and used a metal bar to mark the exact spot where he was hidden. Moore supplied a Ford F-150 pick-up truck with a trailer for the grisly job, along with a galvanized metal trough, bleach, gloves and plastic sheeting.

The body was supposed to be moved 8 p.m. Jan. 25 but it remained until sheriff's deputies found it three days later.

The metal bar still marked the spot.

In 2006, Shakespeare won a $31 million jackpot, opted for a lump sum payout of $16.9 million and took home $11 million after taxes. Deputies say Moore befriended the missing man after his win.

She told authorities she bought his Lakeland home, set up Abraham Shakespeare LLC to take over his financial affairs, and later divorced her husband of 17 years.

His mansion ended up being sold to her medical staffing company, American Medical Professionals, for a little over half of its $1.1 million price.

Before his disappearance, Shakespeare's new-found fortune was dwindling. The felon and former Lake Wales day laborer handed out high-dollar loans and extravagant gifts to friends, family members and even people he barely knew.

Moore ended up owning all of Shakespeare's various real estate holdings and other assets, including more than $600,000 in debts owed to him. She has been living in a gated Polk County community with a fence and a surveillance system that was once Shakespeare's.

Gee said the murder investigation will continue and would not comment on whether more arrests were forthcoming.

Moore told Bay News 9 that she has been in contact with Shakespeare's family and hoped to attend his funeral.

"The money was like a curse to him, and now it has become a curse to me," she told reporters.

>>Fast facts

A chronology of death and deceit

Here, based on the sheriff's probable cause affidavit and newspaper accounts, is a time line of the rise to riches and rapid destruction of Abraham Lee Shakespeare.

2006: Shakespeare takes an $11 million lump sum payment for a lottery jackpot.

Nov. 2008: Dorice Donegan Moore arranges to meet him, saying she wants to write a book.

April 6 or April 7, 2009: Shakespeare is killed and buried in Plant City.

Nov. 2009: His family reports him missing.

Dec. 2009: Moore says she helped Shakespeare disappear, and writes to his mom posing as him, saying he's all right.

Dec. 27: Moore has someone call Shakespeare's mother pretending to be him.

Between Dec. 28, 2009, and Jan. 21, 2010: Moore seeks someone awaiting sentencing who is willing to admit to the murder in exchange for $50,000.

Jan. 25: Moore gives someone a pistol described as the murder weapon. She shows him where the body is buried and arranges for it to be moved.

Jan. 28: Deputies find the body under a concrete slab.

Feb. 1: Moore tells reporters she didn't pull the trigger but covered up the death.

Feb. 2: Moore is arrested.

An earlier version of this story gave an incorrect age for Shakespeare.

'Helper' arrested in killing of Lotto winner Abraham Shakespeare 02/02/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, February 3, 2010 5:57pm]
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