Saturday, December 16, 2017
Public safety

Report on shooting death of Brooksville man sheds light on couple's turbulent relationship

BROOKSVILLE — Jeanne Moore leveled a Remington 12-gauge shotgun at her husband and yelled a warning.

"Go away!" she screamed, the muzzle of the gun about 2 feet away from Shawn Moore's chest. "You will not harm me or my kids!"

When Shawn Moore raised his right hand and lunged, Jeanne Moore jumped back and the gun went off. Shawn, 44, died on the back deck of the couple's home on Weatherly Road, east of Brooksville. It was the day after Christmas. "I was attacked," Jeanne Moore, 49, told deputies who arrived moments later. "Am I safe now?"

The account of the shooting, given to investigators by Jeanne Moore and her 19-year-old son, True Griffin, are among new details in a Hernando Sheriff's Office report released this week.

Authorities did not charge Jeanne Moore with a crime, and the State Attorney's Office was reviewing the case when she died of an apparent heart attack Jan. 24. Assistant State Attorney Pete Magrino, who had been reviewing the case, could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

After the shooting, and still covered in her husband's blood, the former financial analyst for the city of Brooksville told investigators that Shawn had beaten her throughout their 10-year marriage. She said he choked her, head-butted her, once broke her wrist and threatened to kill her and the children if she called police.

On Christmas Day, she said, they got into an argument after Shawn asked her to sign over her interest in the house. Shawn, who owned a contracting company and worked for CSX, became enraged, picked her up and threatened to kill her and the children. She said he calmed down when their 13-year-old son came into the room. Then Shawn left.

About 6 p.m. the next day, Jeanne, True Griffin and the Moores' 11-year-old daughter were in the living room when Shawn returned and started to bang on the back door. Jeanne told the girl to lock herself in the bedroom. Their son was upstairs.

Griffin, a Marine visiting for the holidays, said his mother grabbed the shotgun, chambered a round, opened the door and told Shawn to leave.

Jeanne said Shawn threatened to kill the children and make her watch if she didn't pull the trigger. She said the gun went off when he lunged at her, making her jump backward. She told Griffin to call 911.

Griffin told detectives he loaded the shotgun and kept it close by because his stepfather "is an insane and violent person." He said he'd never seen Shawn physically abuse his mother, but the verbal and mental abuse had gone on for years.

The Moores' two young children told detectives that their father was a diabetic who flew into fits of rage when his blood sugar was off balance. They said they never saw their father beat their mother, but did see him twist her wrists or arms when he became angry about the children misbehaving.

"They stated that if she did not get the children to calm down, he would … get in her face telling her 'fix it or I'll kill them,' " the report states.

The boy said he heard his father yelling on Christmas Day about money he wanted from the sale of the house. The boy said Shawn threatened as he was leaving to kill his mother and the kids. His mother, in turn, threatened to kill him if he came back.

Austin Moore, Shawn's son from a prior relationship, told a detective that Jeanne made comments in the past about killing his father "if he ever did anything to p- - - her off."

"Austin said Jeanne is a very conniving and lying person, and she would be willing to do it," the report said.

Jeanne's mother, Frances Griffin, who lives next door, said she wasn't aware of any physical abuse, but for years had witnessed verbal and psychological abuse. "If he'd have got that gun, he would have killed all of them," Griffin told the Tampa Bay Times.

The allegations shocked at least some of Shawn Moore's family members, including his 24-year-old niece, Lindsey McLaughlin of Lady Lake.

"You never know what happens behind closed doors," McLaughlin said, "but that's not the type of person he was."

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