Abraham Shakespeare (left) and DeeDee Moore.
TAMPA, Florida -- The descriptions were all the same: "manipulating," "conniving," "evil," "your worst nightmare."
Those were just a few of the choice words jurors used to describe Dee Dee Moore, the femme fatale at the heart of the lotto winner murder trial.
Moore will spend the rest of her life in prison for killing Abraham Shakespeare in April 2009. She befriended the $30 million lotto winner to gain his trust and his money. She told him she was writing a book on him. Instead, she stole his money and set up bank accounts so that he would never have access to the cash.
Moore was convicted of first degree murder Monday night after jurors heard two weeks of testimony illustrating how the 40-year-old Plant City woman shot Shakespeare twice in the chest, then buried his body on her property and covered it up with a cement slab. She lied to his family for about where he was. It was a house of cards that came tumbling down as prosecutors presented what jurors call an "airtight" case in the trial.
10 News sat down exclusively with the foreman of the jury, a 71-year-old retiree from Plant City. He figured out the Dee Dee drama early on during the case as she cried, carried on, sobbed, and complained in court. Judge Emmett Battles admonished her repeatedly. One time, he got so angry with her that he sent the jury out and then stormed out of the courtroom. And even though Judge Battles limited the amount of exposure the jury had to the courtroom chaos, they caught glimpses of it. They knew exactly what was going on during the case.
"Theatrics," said foreman Roger Gaines. "Another good word is 'show'. She thought she could talk her way out of anything. Even outsmart the detectives. In some ways, she is smart. She set up LLC's, laundered money, but in other ways she wasn't smart. She was a manipulator."
There were all sorts of backgrounds on the jury, including two teachers, retirees, and a nightclub entrepreneur. Their ages ranged from early thirties to early seventies. "It was a great group," said Roger. He called his juror experience "fascinating."
"We got along well," Roger said. "No complaining, no problems. We had some good people on that jury. We had very orderly discussion and laid down some ground rules. No intimidation. Be nice, and show respect. It was an organic process."
Roger said the case was so complex, so interesting, that he'd wake up at night thinking about it, asking himself questions about witnesses who spoke that day and reminding himself about questions he wanted to ask at a later date.
Since jurors were prohibited from talking about the case or watching any media coverage, Roger and the others never knew that everyone in the Bay area was talking about the trial, that people were riveted. The Dee Dee drama was making headlines, and the jurors never knew it.
"We could see the live trucks from the jury room. We knew there was media attention, but to what extent we didn't know," Roger said.
Most people would love to be a fly on the jury room wall. So, 10 News did some digging. What was the catalyst for the guilty verdict? What pushed jurors over the edge? What was the one piece of evidence that both Roger and another juror say sealed the deal on a guilty verdict?
It turns out it was the bullet holes in Abraham Shakespeare's body. The fact that they were side by side was no accident, jurors observed. Someone fired those bullets on purpose. That person was Dee Dee Moore. She claimed it was drug dealers who killed the lottery winner. But, in a struggle, how could two bullets have landed just inches apart with a gun waving in the air, jurors asked? They knew the answer.
Arthur Williams, another retiree, also sat on the jury. The 64-year-old said Dee Dee's courtroom antics were phony. He said she performed it all for their benefit. Arthur also felt that the bullet holes were the most damaging piece of evidence.
He raised his hand to illustrate his point. "Bam! Bam! As one juror demonstrated, the bullet holes would only be side by side if someone wanted to put them there on purpose. If the gun is waving around, it wouldn't be side by side. But, she shot the first bullet, then the second one."
He added, "The love of money is the root of all evil. And, [Dee Dee] was a true manifestation of that scripture. For her, it was all about the money."
Another damaging piece of evidence was a videotape where Dee Dee Moore asked pointed and leading questions to Abraham Shakespeare, jurors said. She asked him, "Won't you be glad to go to California, to Texas, to escape all this? Won't you be glad to get rid of all these people and be gone?"
Jurors believe that Dee Dee was setting up an alibi for herself, making sure it looked like Shakespeare would be gone for a long time, which would fit in perfectly with her devious plan for murder.
And what about the defense's entire case, lasting five minutes?
Roger shook his head. "I don't know what they could have done. The defense didn't have a case, really. I felt like they couldn't have really done anything. How could they put on a case? Maybe call a few character witnesses? The prosecution did a great job. The defense just didn't have a case."
Jurors admit that at times, yes, it got boring. The days were long and the presentations were lengthy. "I was exhausted at the end of the day," said Roger. "It was tiring."
Many times, when they were out of the courtroom, jurors wondered what was going on inside when they were not there. Since they couldn't talk about the case, they got to know each other. They laughed, they joked, they told stories. In the end, it was an honor to serve, they said.
"We were treated really well by the judge, the bailiffs, everyone was so nice to us. They thanked us and made us feel comfortable," said Roger.
As far as what goes on behind closed doors during deliberations? Well, in the beginning, only nine of the jurors agreed on first degree murder. Three others wanted second degree. Then, after much orderly discussion, speaking one at time, they were unanimous. Dee Dee was guilty.
"[She was] very calculating," Arthur remarked. "She had to keep up with all those stories. It was an interesting case. You know, she couldn't have received a fairer trial."
Roger admitted, "When it was over, we were tired. It's a draining process. But, we knew we had a job to do."