As the long-awaited trial for Florida resident Dorice "DeeDee" Moore begins, opening statements shed light on the events surrounding the lottery winner Abraham Shakespeare’s death.
During the jury selection process, 52 of the 100 potential jurors answered that they were familiar with the case. Eight men and four women were chosen out of those interviewed.
The 43-year-old victim won the $30 million (€23 million) jackpot in 2006, taking home $17 million (€13 million) in cash. In a series of rash decisions, he spent most of his fortune buying a home and paying out relatives' mortgages.
Prosecutors claim Dee Dee approached him with the pretext of writing a book about him. She reached out by claiming she was interested in writing about “how people were taking advantage of him.” She then offered to manage his estate, before allegedly taking his life and burying his body under a concrete slab.
“The evidence will show you within 60 days of having been divested of everything he owns to DeeDee Moore, all that's left of Abraham Shakespeare is his decaying body in a grave under a concrete slab behind a house that (Moore) bought on highway 60 in Plant City, Fla.,” the prosecutor stated.
Police believe they have solid evidence against 40-year-old Moore, who they dub a con-artist who took advantage of the victim and pocketed millions of dollars.
Shakespeare was shot with her gun, according to ABC News. She was also caught on camera buying tape and garbage bags in a supermarket, while being in a rush.
Moore “wrote a letter to the victim's mother claiming to be the victim and to be all right” and “used the victim's cell phone and sent text messages to the victim's friends and family," according to their reports, cited by the Examiner.
She is being charged with first-degree murder. If convicted, she stands to be sentenced to life in prison. She is pleading not guilty, and her lawyer is arguing that all the evidence against her is circumstantial.
“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,” defense attorney Byron Hileman says.