Monday, March 15, 2010

Defendant in lottery winner's death gets new lawyer

By TOM BRENNAN | The Tampa Tribune

Published: March 15, 2010

Updated: 03/15/2010 11:52 am

TAMPA - The woman accused of killing a Florida Lottery winner got a new attorney today after the public defender's office said it had an "ethical conflict."

Hillsborough Circuit Judge Daniel H. Sleet appointed the Criminal Conflict and Civil Regional Counsel to represent Dorice Donegan "Dee Dee" Moore.

Moore is charged in the death of Abraham Shakespeare, the Lakeland man who won a $30 million lottery jackpot in November 2006.

The public defender's office was appointed to represent Moore in February after she said she was indigent with only $100 in the bank, despite prosecutors' claims she siphoned $3.5 million of Shakespeare's winnings.

But Assistant Public Defender Greg Hill said his office had an ethical conflict representing Moore. He wouldn't elaborate.

Sleet appointed Christopher Boldt of the regional conflict office, which was created by the Legislature in 2007 to handle such cases.

Moore, 37, was scheduled to be arraigned on first-degree murder and illegal wiretapping charges, but that was continued because of the lawyer switch. Sleet scheduled a May 10 status hearing.

Hillsborough County sheriff's Col. Albert Frost, who is heading the investigation into Shakespeare's death, said the wiretapping charge stems from an incident in which Moore made video and audio recordings of conversations she had with Greg Todd Smith, a confidential informant. Investigators said Smith provided information that helps prove Moore tried to cover up Shakespeare's slaying.

According to court records, Moore gave Smith a .38-caliber revolver she said was used to kill Shakespeare and also asked Smith whether he knew anyone who would be willing to confess to the crime.

"This is a very complicated case," Frost said. "It is very active. It is a possibility more people might get charged in this case."

Assistant State Attorney Jay Pruner said his office has yet to decide whether it will seek the death penalty if Moore is convicted of first-degree murder.

Prosecutors have 45 days from the date a defendant is indicted to make that decision. A grand jury indicted Moore on March 11.

Moore has been held without bail since her arrest Feb. 2 on a charge of being an accessory after the fact to Shakespeare's murder.

Shakespeare, 43, was last seen alive in Lakeland in April. He was shot twice in the chest and buried under a concrete slab on a Turkey Creek property, which records show as being owned by Moore's boyfriend.

Reporter Howard Altman contributed to this report. Reporter Tom Brennan can be reached at (813) 259-7698.

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