December 5 2012
– Jurors in the trial of a woman accused of killing a lottery winner will get a security escort after claiming the victim’s family and a witness were making them feel uncomfortable.
Dorice ‘Dee Dee’ Moore, 40, is charged with first-degree murder in the 2009 shooting death of Abraham Shakespeare, who won $30 million in the Florida lottery three years before he was killed.
Two jurors said witness Greg Smith, a friend of Mr Shakespeare and supposed friend of Ms Moore, had intimidated them in the parking lot after court on Friday. A third juror said other members of the gallery had made her concerned for her safety.
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Jitters: Jurors in the trial of Dorice ‘DeeDee’ Moore, pictured on Monday, will get a security escort
In court on Monday, Judge Emmett Battles asked a juror whether feeling threatened by the witness and Mr Shakespeare’s friends and family would affect her ability to be fair and impartial in the case.
‘No, I just want to feel safe,’ the juror said, according to ABC News.
After a number of cautions, Mr Battles last week gave Ms Moore a final warning for making facial expressions at jurors.
‘Miss Moore, I’ve cautioned you throughout these proceedings,’ Mr Battles said in court on Thursday.
‘I’m warning you. I think I’m going to make it clear for the last time.’
In the sixth day of the trial on Monday, jurors heard about a two-page letter prosecutors said Ms Moore wrote and signed off in Mr Shakespeare’s name in an effort to convince his mother that he was still alive.
According to ABC News, Ms Moore tried to cover her tracks while it was written.
‘She had a brand-new laptop, set up and a printer, (and) she had a rubber-type gloves on,’ Mr Smith testified of the letter allegedly written at a Comfort Inn. ‘And a scarf pullover-type thing over her head.’
Final warning: Ms Moore, pictured, was given a final warning by the judge for starring at jurors
Intimidating: Jurors claimed witness Greg Smith, pictured, had made them feel uncomfortable
Mr Smith, a police informant, testified that he pretended to help Ms Moore create the illusion that Mr Shakespeare was still alive. Shortly after the letter was written, the 47-year-old’s body was found buried under a slab of concrete in Ms Moore’s backyard.
In court, Mr Smith read the letter prosecutors say Ms Moore forged in full.
‘Don’t worry about Dee,’ the letter read. ‘There are too many people that know I left. I gave her enough money… she would not take anything from me unless I agreed.’
On Monday, jurors also listened to a recorded conversation in which Ms Moore admitted she was afraid of being arrested.
The woman was discussing the possible size of her bond with Mr Smith as she drove him to Mr Shakespeare’s mother’s house to drop off the letter, according to ABC News.
Mr Smith told the woman that he has an uncle and a cousin who are bail bondsmen and would be able to get her out of jail.
Murder: Ms Moore, 40, is charged with first-degree murder in the 2009 shooting death of lottery winner, Abraham Shakespeare
Innocent: Defendant Dorice ‘DeeDee’ Moore claims she is not guilty of the first-degree murder of Abraham Shakespeare
The evidence came after a detective testified on Friday that the woman propositioned him during questioning.
Polk County Sheriff’s Office detective David Clark told the court that during one interview with Moore, she said she hoped they could eventually have sex once the investigation was over.
‘She said she was very attracted to me,’ Mr Clark said.
Friday morning before the jury walked in, Ms Moore told bailiffs and attorneys that she had a bad reaction to medicine while in jail overnight and a doctor had to be called.
After the doctor helped Ms Moore, jurors listened to a recording between detectives and Ms Moore. Prosecutors also played a recorded conversation between Ms Moore and Mr Shakespeare’s cousin.
‘I wish I never met Abraham Shakespeare. Trust me,’ Ms Moore said in the recording. ‘I wish I never got involved with him. This has ruined my entire life.’
Victim: Florida lottery winner Abraham Shakespeare, centre, was killed three years after winning $30 million
Judge Battles had lost patience with Ms Moore in court on previous days. He scolded Moore several times, telling her she shouldn’t gesture or nod during witness testimony and evidence.
Prosecutors and defense attorneys agree that Mr Shakespeare had already spent the majority of his $14 million, after-tax lottery winnings by the time he met Ms Moore in 2008. Detectives say Moore befriended Shakespeare, claiming that she was writing a book about him.
Documents show that she transferred hundreds of thousands of dollars from his bank accounts to hers and she took over his home mortgage.
Mr Shakespeare’s decomposed body was found under a concrete slab and buried in the back of Moore’s home in January of 2010. Medical examiners testified that the 43-year-old had been shot twice in the chest.
Ms Moore says she did not kill him and no one else has been charged in his death.
Ms Moore’s lawyer said most of the evidence against his client is circumstantial and that there’s nothing tying Ms Moore to the gun used to kill Mr Shakespeare.