TAMPA, Fla. (AP)—Abraham Shakespeare could barely read, wrote his name in block letters and had given away most of his $17 million in lottery winnings when he became friends with Dorice “Dee Dee” Moore, a calculating woman who later became his financial advisor, prosecutors said last week.
During opening statements in Moore’s first-degree murder trial in Tampa, assistant state attorney Jay Pruner said Moore swindled what was left of Shakespeare’s winnings from his bank account in 2009, then killed him and buried his body under a concrete slab in her backyard.
Pruner said when Shakespeare won the lottery, his life “drastically and dramatically changed”—and that the money caused all sorts of problems, eventually leading to his death. One detective testified that Moore told him that Shakespeare was tired of people asking him for money.
Moore, 40, wore a yellow button-down blouse and black pants to court, and her long, curly hair framed her face as she highlighted notes with a yellow marker during Wednesday’s trial.
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Her attorney, Byron Hileman, said there is no evidence that ties his client to the gun used to shoot Shakespeare.
“There are no eyewitnesses who can testify that Ms. Moore shot and killed Mr. Shakespeare or was present when he was shot and killed or had any part carrying out his murder,” Hileman said, adding that the evidence against Moore is mostly circumstantial.
Later in the day, witnesses included two investigators from the county medical examiner’s office and a sheriff’s detective.
Dr. Dollette White, the assistant medical examiner that worked on Shakespeare’s autopsy, said his body was “mummified” and partially skeletonized. She said his body had been underground for a few months, but it was difficult to pinpoint exactly how long based on decomposition.
White also said that two bullets were recovered from Shakespeare’s body, both lodged near his spine and heart. X-rays of Shakespeare’s chest were shown to the jury.
Both attorneys agreed on one thing: that by the time Shakespeare and Moore met, the man had already spent or given away most of his lottery winnings. Friends and acquaintances owed him millions of dollars, the lawyers said, and Pruner called him a “soft touch.”