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Lottery winner's murder suspect wanted someone else to take blame, recordings show

Dorice “DeeDee” Moore, 38, accused of murder, appeared before Hillsborough Circuit Judge Daniel Sleet on Monday.

STEPHEN J. CODDINGTON | Times

Dorice “DeeDee” Moore, 38, accused of murder, appeared before Hillsborough Circuit Judge Daniel Sleet on Monday.

TAMPA — Dorice "DeeDee" Moore maintained her innocence as she conspired with a man to pin lottery winner Abraham Shakespeare's murder on someone else.

But she had no idea that man was a police informer — or that the person she thought would take the fall was an undercover Lake Wales police officer. The two were wearing wires, building a case against Moore.

Within weeks of those December 2009 and January 2010 conversations, Moore, 38, was charged in Shakespeare's death.

On Monday, a Hillsborough County judge released hours of recorded conversations pertaining to the case. The defense had been trying to withhold them from the public, but then waived the objection at a hearing.

Circuit Judge Daniel Sleet asked Moore if she understood what was happening and if she was satisfied with her attorney.

"I'm just waiting to go home," she said, smiling.

Several of the audio recordings are of Moore's meetings with informer Gregory Todd Smith, during which Moore and Smith are heard working out plans to have someone admit to murdering Shakespeare.

In a conversation at a BP gas station, Smith said he knew of a man facing 25 years in prison for drug charges, and Moore said she'd be willing to pay him if he admitted killing Shakespeare, the records show.

While making plans, records show, Moore said to Smith: "You know, when we're 80 years old, we need to write a book. … We need to write a book about this."

Still, she never admitted to the shooting.

Shakespeare, 42, won $12.7 million after taxes in the Florida lottery in 2006. He befriended Moore two years later when she told him she planned to write a book about him. But within four months of meeting him, Moore had control over his remaining assets — about $3.5 million and a mansion, authorities say.

Officials think Moore shot Shakespeare to death in April 2009. His body, buried under a concrete slab in Plant City, wasn't found until January.

She is in the Hillsborough County Jail awaiting a first-degree murder trial. Prosecutors won't seek the death penalty.

Records show Moore had been trying to convince Shakespeare's family he was alive but missing by choice. She eventually started working with Smith to have someone admit killing Shakespeare and tossing his body in the bay, the records state.

In a meeting with the undercover police officer and Smith, the records show, Moore told the officer: "If you do this, you're going to be a very popular person. You're going to be a legend. You're going to be in a book and probably on the Oprah show."

The undercover officer said he couldn't admit to the killing without a body and without details of how Shakespeare died. Moore said she would try to get that information from a drug dealer she said had really killed Shakespeare.

Four days later, Moore and Smith discussed how they could make the man's confession seem believable. They planned to dig up Shakespeare's body and get the man to put his fingerprints on Moore's gun after they removed the serial number.

In January, as authorities worked to obtain a search warrant for the property on which Shakespeare was buried, Moore offered to help scour the house.

"There's nothing in the house you're going to find," she said.

When a detective reminded her she already told him there was blood in one room, she said there was a little from the shooting, and that she'd point it out.

Later, in a Feb. 15 phone call after her arrest, Moore told her son not to sell her belongings because she would need them when she's out of jail.

"I don't plan on not winning my case," she said. "I didn't hurt him. I know I didn't."

The recordings released Monday include phone call conversations Moore had from jail.

On June 22, she called a friend and disclosed she was on suicide watch and taking medication because she had been crying. The next week, she told the same friend key points in her defense.

A theme she struck in some of the calls is that she is too clever — partly from watching TV crime shows — to have made the lapses detectives say she did.

"I'm not saying the detectives are that stupid, but if they sat down and read the paperwork and really thought about it and really looked at it. … I will go in the world's record as the dumbest criminal alive.

"I am not a stupid person — I watch television. I watch Bones. I watch CSI. I watch them all."

Jessica Vander Velde can be reached at (813) 226-3433 or jvandervelde@sptimes.com.

Lottery winner's murder suspect wanted someone else to take blame, recordings show 12/27/10 [Last modified: Monday, December 27, 2010 10:06pm]
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