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Moore competent to stand trial in lottery winner's slaying

TAMPA — Dorice Donegan "DeeDee" Moore, accused of killing lottery winner Abraham Shakespeare in 2009, was found competent Monday to stand trial.

"The court is convinced that she indeed meets the statutory requirement for competency," said Judge Emmett Lamar Battles. "She has sufficient rational understanding."

Dr. Richard Carpenter had testified that his hour-long evaluation of Moore this month and found that she shows signs of major depression disorder and a mild symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

But, Carpenter said, "neither of these prevents competency."

He added that Moore is "completely lucid" and shows "no evidence of psychosis."

Defense attorneys tried to point out that being found competent was Moore's intent, noting she consciously acted in such a way that ensured this ruling.

Carpenter said it was "pretty clear" that she wanted to be found competent, but added it did not necessarily mean she had a problem that she was attempting to mask.

"It would be a very interesting strategy" for a defendant to feign being competent "when they're not," Carpenter said.

Moore has wanted to proceed with the Nov. 26 trial to prove that she is not guilty of murder.

She is accused of slaying Shakespeare, who won $12.7 million, after taxes, in the Florida lottery in 2006.

The two had become friends about two years after, when Moore approached Shakespeare about writing a book about him.

Just four months after meeting him, Moore had gained control over his remaining assets — about $3.5 million and a mansion, authorities say.

Authorities have accused Moore of shooting Shakespeare dead in April 2009. His body, buried under a concrete slab in Plant City, was found in January 2010.

During the investigation, which began as a missing person search, Moore initially maintained that Shakespeare was alive but had left Lakeland by choice.

She was charged with first-degree murder in February 2010.

As she sat in the courtroom Monday, fidgeting with a rosary and handcuffs dangling from her left wrist, Moore took notes and shuffled through files, occasionally opening a red book entitled I am innocent!

The trial is scheduled for next week. Several court-appointed psychiatrists said Moore has told them she plans to plead not guilty to murder.

Times staff writer Keeley Sheehan contributed to this report. Marissa Lang can be reached at mlang@tampabay.com or (813) 226-3386 or on Twitter @Marissa_Jae.

Moore competent to stand trial in lottery winner's slaying 11/19/12 [Last modified: Monday, November 19, 2012 11:29pm]
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