Woman in Fla. lottery slaying case doesn't testify
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- A woman accused of killing a central Florida lottery winner declined to testify at her trial Monday and was briefly banned from the courtroom over concerns that she may have threatened jurors.
Judge Emmett Battles said Dorice "Dee Dee" Moore may have been engaged in conversations that could be construed as a threat to jurors. Moore was instructed to leave the Tampa courtroom while he investigated but she was back a short time later for closing arguments. No other details were given.
Moore is accused of killing Abraham Shakespeare, who won millions in 2006. Prosecutors said the 40-year-old befriended Shakespeare in late 2008, claiming she was writing a book about how people were taking advantage of him. They claim Moore later became his financial adviser, eventually controlling every asset he had left, including an expensive home, the debt owed to him and a $1.5 million annuity. She ultimately swindled Shakespeare out of his dwindling fortune, then shot him and buried his body under a concrete slab in her backyard, said assistant state attorney Jay Pruner.
At times, Moore closed her eyes and averted her face from the jury as prosecutors played audio recordings made by an undercover officer posing as a criminal who would take the fall for Shakespeare's murder.
Prosecutors have built much of their case from confidential informant's statements and financial records.
Earlier Monday, Moore said she would not take the stand because she wanted to protect her family. Defense attorneys rested their case without calling any other witnesses.
In opening statements, Moore's attorney told the jury that his client was trying to help protect Shakespeare's assets from a pending child support case when he was killed by drug dealers who haven't been caught.
Moore claims she wanted to write a book about him and help him with his finances, but did not murder him.
Former inmate Rose Condora, who was locked up with Moore, said she visits her friend every night at the jail.
"She's not what people think she is. She did not kill that man," Condora told reporters during a break in the trial.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)