Abraham Shakespeare

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Abraham Lee Shakespeare
Born (1966-04-23)April 23, 1966
Sebring, Florida
United States
Died

April 7, 2009(2009-04-07) (aged 42)

(Date of death is unconfirmed)
Plant City, Florida
United States
Occupation Truck driver's assistant

Abraham Lee Shakespeare (April 23, 1966[citation needed] – 2009) was an American casual laborer who won a $30 million lottery jackpot, receiving $17 million in 2006. In 2009, his family declared him missing, and in January 2010 his body was found buried under a concrete slab in the backyard of an acquaintance.[1] Shakespeare's troubles began after winning the lottery. The case was profiled in the American E! television program Curse of the Lottery;[2] and also was made the subject of an episode of "Snapped," on Oxygen Channel, DTV, on March 16, 2014 as well as the subject of an 2013 episode of American Greed.

Early life[edit]

Shakespeare dropped out of school after seventh grade and was illiterate. He was jailed after being convicted of a string of burglaries. Subsequently, he worked various labor pool jobs.[3]

Lottery[edit]

The Florida Lotto winning ticket worth $30 million was sold at a Town Star convenience store in Frostproof, Florida, on November 15, 2006.[4]

On that day, Abraham Shakespeare and co-worker Michael Ford were headed toward Miami when they stopped briefly at the convenience store in Frostproof to buy drinks and cigarettes. Ford got out of the truck and asked Shakespeare if he wanted a soda. Shakespeare instead asked Ford to buy him two Lottery tickets. Shakespeare said that he paid Ford $2 for the tickets out of the $5 he had on him that day.[5]

Michael Ford later approached Shakespeare demanding a share of the jackpot of no less than $1 million, which Shakespeare refused to pay, prompting Ford to sue Shakespeare and alleging that Shakespeare stole lottery tickets out of Ford's wallet.[5] The jury did not believe Ford's stolen lottery tickets story and Shakespeare prevailed in the courts.

Shakespeare had chosen a one-time, lump sum cash payment of $17 million.[6] He moved out of his working-class neighborhood in Lakeland, Florida and into a gated community.[3] Several months after his lottery win, apart from a $1 million home, his only other major purchases included a Nissan Altima and a Rolex watch from a pawnshop.[7] By late January 2010 the sheriff involved in the investigation of Shakespeare's disappearance told AP that the lottery money "is gone now."[8]

Friends stated Shakespeare had grown frustrated with the apparently constant appeals for money from both hangers-on and strangers. He told his brother, "I'd have been better off broke," and told a childhood friend, "I thought all these people were my friends, but then I realized all they want is just money."[1] One of these was Dorice Donegan "Dee-Dee" Moore, who launched a business with Shakespeare, Abraham Shakespeare LLC, giving herself control of the firm's funds. Moore subsequently withdrew $1 million and bought herself a Hummer, a Chevrolet Corvette and a truck before going on vacation. She later claimed that the money was a gift from Shakespeare.[3]

Missing status and death[edit]

On November 9, 2009, Shakespeare's family reported him missing, stating that they had not seen him since April of that year. Family and friends had originally hoped that he had taken his money and was living on a beach in the Caribbean Sea. A tip-off led investigators to the backyard of a home purchased by Moore, where Shakespeare's body was found buried under 5 feet (1.5 m) of dirt under a newly constructed concrete slab.[1] Shakespeare was 43.[3]

Hillsborough County detectives say Shakespeare died April 6 or 7 in the single-story ranch home in Plant City.[9] Police took Moore into custody on February 2, 2010, in connection with the murder of Shakespeare. A judge set a $1 million bond. She was charged as an accessory after the fact in first-degree murder. The police stated Moore had tried to convince an acquaintance to unearth the body and move it a week after the death, and had continued to try to convince others that Shakespeare was still alive.[10] On February 19, 2010, Dorice Donegan Moore was arrested on a charge of first degree murder.

Dee Dee Moore[edit]

Dorice Donegan "Dee Dee" Moore (born July 25, 1972) was the prime suspect for the death of Abraham Shakespeare. She was married to James Moore in 1992, and has a son born in 1995.

In 2001, Moore was convicted of insurance fraud and falsely reporting a crime. She got a year of probation. Moore filed for bankruptcy in 2002. .

Investigation[edit]

Before police found Shakespeare's body, Moore said Shakespeare had decided to leave town and had gone to Texas; Jamaica; Puerto Rico; Orlando, Florida or was sick in a hospital. Moore also said that Shakespeare was sick of people asking him for money, so she helped him leave town.[3] After police found his body under a concrete slab, in the backyard of the home she put in her boyfriend's name, Moore told police different versions of what happened to Shakespeare. Moore in turn blamed drug dealers, a lawyer and her 14-year-old son.[11] She later said she killed Shakespeare in self-defense.[10]

Soon after Shakespeare disappeared, Moore, who was living in Shakespeare's house, kept using his cell phone and sending text messages to his friends and relatives, as though she were Shakespeare. Recipients thought they did not sound like him and were suspicious because Shakespeare was illiterate.[3][11] When people texted Shakespeare's phone back with questions that could not be answered by Moore, no response was given.[11]

During the same time that Moore was trying to make it appear that Shakespeare was alive, she tried to find a person who would take the blame for Shakespeare's death for $50,000. She also offered to pay someone to dig up and move Shakespeare's body to another location.[12]

Property records show that Moore's company, American Medical Professionals, bought Shakespeare's house.[1] Moore told investigators she paid Shakespeare $655,000 for his home and bought[vague] $185,000 for loans which were actually worth much more, which people owed him; however, there is no evidence showing she paid Shakespeare anything.[3]

Moore offered the mother of one of Shakespeare's two sons a $200,000 home if she would lie to detectives and tell them she had seen him recently. She also paid $5,000 to a relative of Shakespeare's to give his mother a birthday card and imply it was from him.[3]

Through the investigation of Moore, it was learned that she had once staged a scene to fraudulently keep a Lincoln Navigator which was in danger of being repossessed after falling behind on the payments. She had someone store the car in a garage and then pretended she was kidnapped, sexually assaulted and carjacked. Investigators claimed she taped her wrists and threw herself from someone else's car. She even took a rape exam. She later pleaded no contest to the charge and received probation.[13]

Conviction and sentencing of Dorice "Dee Dee" Moore[edit]

On December 10, 2012, Dee Dee Moore was convicted of first degree murder for the killing of Abraham Shakespeare and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole with an additional minimum sentence of 25 years for possessing a gun in the course of a violent felony.[14]

In media[edit]

The difficulties Shakespeare experienced as a result of winning the lottery, including his murder, were the focus of the American E! television program Curse of the Lottery,[2] part of an episode of Lottery Changed My Life, and a 2013 episode of American Greed. A July 2013 episode of Deadly Women also profiled the case, focusing on Dorice Moore's role in his murder. Also September 2013 episode of Snapped on focusing on Moore's murder trial. Moore was also featured in a 2011 episode of the television show Lockup while in the Hillsborough County Jail in Tampa, Florida awaiting her trial. She stated that she planned on selling the rights to her story to pay $200,000 to a lawyer that could get her out. Moore denied all charges.

Timeline[edit]

  • November 15, 2006 - Shakespeare's co-worker Michael Ford buys two tickets (including the winning ticket) at Shakespeare's request.[5]
  • January 2007 - Shakespeare buys a $1.1 million home in a gated community in North Lakeland.[15]
  • April 2007 - Michael Ford sues Shakespeare for allegedly stealing the winning ticket from him.[5]
  • October 19, 2007 - A jury takes only a little over an hour to rule that Shakespeare did not steal the winning ticket from Michael Ford's wallet.[16]
  • October, 2008 - Dee Dee Moore arranges to meet Shakespeare, purportedly to write a book about him.[17][18]
  • January 9, 2009 - The ownership of Shakespeare's home is transferred to American Medical Professionals, Moore's company.[19]
  • 2009 - According to Polk County records, Shakespeare's home and other properties are sold or assigned to American Medical Professionals. Of $570,000 owed to Shakespeare, more than two-thirds is owed by American Medical Professionals.[15]
  • February 21, 2009 - Moore buys a 2008 Chevrolet Corvette for her boyfriend for $70,390.86. She pays with a cashier's check from her American Medical Professionals LLC, business account.[18]
  • March 2, 2009 - Moore buys a 2009 Hummer for about $90,000.[18]
  • April 2009 - Shakespeare is last seen in the Lakeland area of Florida.[3]
  • April 6, 2009 - According to detectives, this is the last day Shakespeare used his cell phone.[11]
  • August, 2009 - Cedric Edom, Shakespeare's cousin, delivers a card with $100 and a cross enclosed to Elizabeth Walker, Shakespeare's mother. Walker claimed the signature on the card looked like Shakespeare's, but that Edom did not say who gave him the card.[20]
  • November 9, 2009 - Cedric Edom files a missing person's report on Shakespeare with the sheriff's office.[17]
  • November 12, 2009 - In possibly the first police interview conducted with Dee Dee Moore, detectives try to learn how Moore appropriated Shakespeare's assets. Moore tells investigators she paid Shakespeare in cash.[21]
  • November 24, 2009 - In another interview with detectives, Moore claims the reason Shakespeare was taken off the Abraham Shakespeare LLC account was that he did not want to pay taxes. She also cannot give a reason for why the approximately $1 million used to open the account was withdrawn "day's" (sic) after Shakespeare's name was removed.[22]
  • November 24, 2009 - The Polk County sheriff's office declares Shakespeare missing.
  • December 3, 2009 - In an interview with detectives, Moore claims that the reason that some of Shakespeare's assets went into Moore's business account, American Medical Associates, was because Shakespeare did not want to pay child support.[18]
  • December, 2009 - Moore, posing as Shakespeare, writes to his mother saying he is fine, even though Shakespeare could not read or write.[9]
  • December 5, 2009 - Moore sells her 10-month-old Hummer to a friend of an owner of a Chevrolet dealer for $49,000.[18]
  • December 27, 2009 - Elizabeth Walker, Shakespeare's mother,[23] receives a phone call from someone pretending to be Shakespeare, while she eats out with Dee Dee Moore.
  • December 28, 2009 - Gregory Smith, one of Shakespeare's friends, is paid by Moore to make calls to Shakespeare's mother pretending to be her son. Smith is approached and interviewed by detectives and decides to start cooperating with law enforcement.[18]
  • January 2010 - Moore contacts Gregory Smith and asks him if he knew anyone who would be willing to admit to law enforcement that they were responsible for the killing of Shakespeare.[18]
  • January 21, 2010 - Officer Mike Smith of the Lake Wales, Florida police department, working undercover, is introduced to Dee Dee Moore by Gregory Smith. Moore agrees to pay Smith $50,000 if he claims responsibility for Shakespeare's death. Smith agrees, but tells Moore he needs to know where Shakespeare is buried.[18]
  • January 25, 2010 - Dee Dee Moore shows Gregory Smith the concrete slab under which Shakespeare is buried. Moore also gives Gregory Smith the .38 Smith and Wesson revolver which was used to kill Shakespeare.[18]
  • January 25, 2010 - In an interview with detectives, Moore claims the reason she did not pay Shakespeare for his house was because he had a drug problem and the money would be used to buy drugs.[18]
  • January 27, 2010 - Police find a body at the Plant City house a day after digging at the site.[11]
  • January 28, 2010 - James Moore, Dee Dee Moore's ex-husband is interviewed by detectives. James Moore claims that Dee Dee Moore had called him during the first two weeks of April 2009, asking him to dig a hole in her yard. Dee Dee Moore claimed the hole was needed to bury concrete and trash. James Moore claims he dug a hole and after he left the yard, was called back two hours later by Dee Dee Moore, asking him to fill the hole. James Moore, who was being paid to do other yard work by Dee Dee, claims he filled the hole, but could not see what was in it, as it was dark.[18][24]
  • January 29, 2010. - The body found at the Plant City property is identified as that of the missing Shakespeare.[11]
  • February 3, 2010 - The judge sets bond at $1 million for Dorice "Dee Dee" Moore.[10]
  • December 10, 2012 - DeeDee Moore is found guilty of murder, and sentenced to life in prison without parole.[27]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Body of lottery winner found buried in Florida". BBC News. 30 January 2010. Archived from the original on 31 January 2010. Retrieved 31 January 2010. 
  2. ^ a b Curse of the Lottery 2; E!; September 11, 2010
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i Stutzman, Rene (30 January 2010). "Polk man's sudden millions led to celebrity -- and tragedy". Orlando Sentinel. Archived from the original on 4 February 2010. Retrieved 31 January 2010. 
  4. ^ "Florida Lotto Winning Number"
  5. ^ a b c d "Lawsuit: Millionaire Stole Lotto Ticket"
  6. ^ Lush, Tamara (3 February 2010). "Judge sets woman's bond at $1 million in lotto winner's slaying". The Associated Press. Retrieved 4 February 2010. [dead link]
  7. ^ "Sarasota Herald-Tribune: Lotto winner hasn't altered frugal lifestyle"
  8. ^ "True Crime Report: Abraham Shakespeare, Missing Florida Lottery Winner, May Be Dead"
  9. ^ a b c "'Helper' arrested in killing of Lotto winner Abraham Shakespeare". St. Petersburg Times. Feb 3, 2010. 
  10. ^ a b c Green, Merissa (Feb 3, 2010). "Judge Sets 'DeeDee' Moore's Bond at $1 Million". The Ledger. 
  11. ^ a b c d e f Martin, John (Sep 17, 2010). "Lotto murder case records: DeeDee Moore's mother describes 'erratic behavior'". 
  12. ^ "Friend charged with hiding Tampa lotto winner's death". Gainsvile Sun. Feb 3, 2010. 
  13. ^ Jenkins, Colleen (Feb 10, 2010). "Lotto case suspect DeeDee Moore has record of staging schemes". tampabay.com. 
  14. ^ [1]
  15. ^ a b Green, Merissa (Nov 24, 2009). "Lakeland Lottery Winner Missing". The Ledger. 
  16. ^ "Famed Attorney and Client Victorious in $30 Million Lottery Trial". Los Angeles Sentinel. Nov 1, 2007. 
  17. ^ a b Green, Merissa (Jan 7, 2010). "Sheriff: Lottery Winner May Be Dead". The Ledger. 
  18. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Abraham Lee Shakespeare - 02/19/2010 Probable Cause Affidavit". acandyrose.com. Feb 19, 2010. 
  19. ^ Geary, Jason (Feb 17, 2011). "Suspect 'DeeDee' Moore Fights to Keep Lotto Winner's House". The Ledger. 
  20. ^ Green, Merissa (Dec 5, 2009). "Woman Says Missing Man Publicity Upended Life". The Ledger. 
  21. ^ "Dorice "Dee Dee" Moore Interview 11/12/2009". acandyrose.com. Nov 12, 2009. 
  22. ^ "Detective Christopher Lynn Report 02/02/2010". acandyrose.com. Feb 2, 2010. 
  23. ^ "Elizabeth Walker Interview 12/28/2009". acandyrose.com. 
  24. ^ "Variety of stories leads to murder charge for Dee Dee Moore". www2,tbo.com. Feb 19, 2010. 
  25. ^ Mitchell, Robbyn (Feb 20, 2010). "DeeDee Moore charged with first degree murder in lottery winner's homicide". St. Petersburg Times. 
  26. ^ "Woman pleads not guilty in death of lottery winner". CNN. Mar 16, 2010. 
  27. ^ "US woman guilty of killing lottery winner". News.com.au/AAP. Dec 11, 2012. 

An archive of found materials related to Abraham Shakespeare can be found here.