1. Opinion

No surprise in DeeDee Moore's conviction in lottery murder

Published Dec. 13, 2012

This probably falls under the attorney/client privilege, but you have to believe it didn't take long after the start of DeeDee Moore's first-degree murder trial that her lawyer, Byron Hileman, had to think to himself: "I'd have an easier time getting Jack Ruby acquitted."

It was likely not a good sign things were going to turn out well for Moore when her entire defense strategy seemed to be impersonating Glenn Close's deranged, hysterical, Alex Forrest from Fatal Attraction. You have to wonder if the jurors went home every night expecting to find a dead rabbit boiling on the stove top.

By now we know the Madame Defarge of Polk County, was on trial for the 2009 murder of Abraham Shakespeare, a $17 million lottery winner, who became a dead man scratch-off ticket the minute he crossed paths with Moore.

Before you could say King Lear, who had his own problems with women, Shakespeare had literally met his demise at the hands of a real-life cunning, calculating and homicidal Lady Macbeth.

But perhaps the real mystery surrounding the Shakespeare case is: Why did this thing ever go to trial in the first place?

With all due respect to Assistant Hillsborough State Attorney Jay Pruner, who prosecuted Moore and is a very fine lawyer, let's face it, an Irish setter could have tried this case and won a conviction.

It's not as if Hileman and his client weren't abundantly aware of the Alps-like mountains of evidence arrayed against Moore — much of it self-incriminating.

With hours of secretly recorded conversations between Moore and an informant in which she readily admits to where Shakespeare's body is buried and then asks for help in digging it up to hide it someplace else, do you think it is possible a juror just might begin to think DeeDee had something to do with all the foul play?

Sheesh, Guy Fawkes had a greater shot at walking.

When it came time to mount a defense of Moore, Hileman might have been better off standing up before the jury and pled candor with: "Folks, I got nothing."

Instead, the mouthpiece offered the rather tortured argument that because DeeDee already had stolen all of Shakespeare's assets what was the point of killing him? Well, you have to give him a nod for at least trying.

Otherwise, Hileman never entered a single piece of evidence, or called a witness. And Moore herself, having at least the presence of an addled mind to realize testifying on her own behalf would have resulted in looking even more guilty (if that were possible) also declined to take the stand.

So why go through this charade of a trial when Moore had less of a chance of going free than Secretariat losing to Old Dobbin?

Perhaps Moore simply viewed the trial as a chance to get out of her jail cell for a few hours a day. Maybe she wanted one last opportunity to dress up in shabby civilian clothes before getting permanently fitted with a prison jumpsuit. Or it could be she heard the courthouse cheeseburgers are to die for.

Whatever the case, after a two-week trial that was filled with the defendant engaging in more drama queen breakdowns than Scarlett O'Hara, the jury quickly returned a verdict of guilty, which is certainly one way to get the Iago of Plant City to at last blessedly shut up.

Life sentences have a way of doing that.


  1. The Howard Frankland Bridge, which connects St. Petersburg and Tampa, is a leading symbol of regional unity.
    Organizations that rebrand themselves should have a regional mission that reflects the name.
  2. The White House says it has chosen President Donald Trump's golf resort in Miami as the site for next year's Group of Seven summit.  (AP Photo/Alex Sanz, File) ALEX SANZ  |  AP
    Monday’s letters to the editor
  3. Academy Award-winning actress Lupita Nyong'o has written a children's book called Sulwe, about a girl who "was born the color of midnight."[Photo (2014) by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP] File photo
    Most white people have never heard of skin lightening cream or the “paper bag test,” where your fiance can be no darker than a paper sack. | Leonard Pitts Jr.
  4. Ayana Lage, 26, and Vagner Lage, 27, pose with a sonogram of their unborn child. Ayana writes openly about going through a miscarriage due to the baby having a rare genetic defect. She wonders why more women don't discuss their miscarriages. JOHN PENDYGRAFT   |  Times
    Sunday’s letters to the editor
  5. Kreshae Humphrey, 26, applies ointments to the skin of her 3-year-old daughter, Nevaeh Soto De Jesus, after bathing her in bottled water. The parents bathe all three of their girls with bottled water because they believe the children were sickened by the tap water at the Southern Comfort mobile home park off U.S. 19 in Clearwater. The family is suing the park's owner over the issue, but the owner and the state say there are no problems with the drinking water there. MARTHA ASENCIO-RHINE  |  Times
    The story of a Clearwater mobile home park and its water issues reflects a systemic breakdown.
  6. A long stretch of US 98 remains closed for repairs in Mexico Beach on Friday, September 27, 2019, almost one year after Hurricane Michael made landfall in the small coastal town. DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Time is running out, so let’s get practical, says Craig Fugate
  7. FROM PRINT: Adam Goodman, national Republican media consultant
    Sure, fix capitalism’s flaws, but a wealth tax is not the way. | Adam Goodman
 CLAY BENNETT  |  Chattanooga Times Free Press
  9. A view of the downtown St. Petersburg skyline and waterfront from over Tampa Bay.
    The news that the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation wants to change its name to include “Tampa Bay” has been met with resistance.
  10. Catherine Rampell, Washington Post columnist.
    Allegations of political cowardice can seem rich coming from candidates unwilling to acknowledge the obvious truths about things such as higher taxes. | Catherine Rampell