She swindled lottery winner, then killed him

FLORIDA - Cold, calculating and cruel.

That's how a judge in central Florida described Dorice "Dee Dee" Moore, 40, who killed a US$30million (S$36 million) lottery winner. She was convicted on Monday of first-degree murder and was sentenced to mandatory life without parole.

Judge Emmett Battles sentenced her to an additional minimum mandatory sentence of 25 years for using a gun. Moore, who had also swindled the victim out of his fortune, has 30 days to appeal.

"I can sleep well at night because I know I had done the very best job," said defence lawyer Byron Hileman. "I feel sad for the victim. I feel sad for their families. I feel sad for the defendant because these types of cases are no-win situations."

Jurors deliberated for more than three hours before finding Moore guilty of first-degree murder for the death of Mr Abraham Shakespeare, a truck driver who had won the lottery in 2006.

In the courtroom, Mr Shakespeare's mother showed no emotion.

In his closing arguments, Assistant State Attorney Jay Pruner said of Moore: "She got every bit of his money. He found out about it and threatened to kill her. She killed him first."

Prosecutors said that Moore befriended MrShakespeare in late 2008, claiming she was writing a book about how people were taking advantage of him.

They said that she later became his financial adviser, eventually controlling every asset he had, including an expensive home, the debt owed to him and a US$1.5 million annuity.

Murdered

She ultimately swindled Mr Shakespeare out of his dwindling fortune, then shot him and buried his body under a concrete slab in her backyard in April 2009, Mr Pruner said.

Hillsborough Sheriff David Gee alleged that she tried to dodge suspicion by using Mr Shakespeare's phone to send family members text messages saying he was okay and also writing letters pretending to be him, said local television station 10 News.

Moore denied the murder and said she took over Mr Shakespeare's assets so he could get away from people pestering him for money, Daily Mail reported.

She told reporters in 2010: "The money was like a curse to him. And now it's become a curse to me. God knows I would never take another human being's life."

Soon after he won the lottery, Mr Shakespeare, 43, won a court challenge from a fellow trucker who accused him of snatching the winning ticket from his wallet while they were delivering meat in Miami.

Mr Shakespeare's family reported him missing in November 2009, saying then that they hadn't seen him since April.

When the body was found, his brother, Mr Robert Brown, was quoted by 10 News as saying: "I'm missing my little brother, what ain't gonna be back no more. Dead and gone, and everything. He ain't coming back."


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