TAMPA — Dorice "DeeDee" Moore pitched a fit, overruled her attorneys, delayed testimony for hours, but maybe won a small moral victory Thursday in her first-degree murder trial.
Moore, who this week has been repeatedly cautioned by the judge to control her emotions, broke out in tears and protests moments after damning testimony by the former girlfriend of slain Lakeland lottery winner Abraham Shakespeare.
"I'm tired of these people lying," Moore shouted after the jury was hustled out of earshot. "This is my life."
She was reacting to testimony of Sentorria Butler, 27, the mother of Shakespeare's son, who told the jury that Moore had offered her a car and house if she would help mislead detectives searching for the lottery winner who went missing in April 2009.
Moore, 40, is accused of fatally shooting Shakespeare 43, and burying him in Plant City after taking over his Lakeland mansion and the remains of his jackpot.
Butler also testified that Moore had driven a wedge between her and Shakespeare. She said Moore had told Shakespeare that his girlfriend wanted to "clean him out." She said Moore told her the opposite — that she could get her a lawyer to sue Shakespeare for "everything he had."
Butler said she and Shakespeare had remained friends after they broke up, that he never hurt her and regularly gave her money for child support.
Moore protested that she wanted the jury to see a video she had made herself in 2010 that she said showed Butler lying. Moore's attorneys had advised her against using the video in her defense.
"We have a difference of opinion," Moore's attorney, Byron Hileman, announced as Moore wept at his side.
Hileman and his co-counsel started digging through boxes for the recording.
Hillsborough Circuit Judge Emmett Battles gave them the lunch hour to figure it out. He warned Moore: "Compose yourself."
The lunch break turned into an interlude that lasted well into the afternoon.
While the jury was out, her attorneys played portions of the video for the judge that showed Butler in a low-cut blouse, her hair tousled, complaining that Shakespeare beat her, gave her no money for child support and told her he had AIDS.
The attorneys were then allowed to cross-examine Butler, getting her to admit that she did make those statements. Only a few seconds of the video were played for jurors.
Butler then said that Moore had given her those lines to say for the video, telling her they would be shown online and would force Shakespeare to come out of hiding. She said Moore made her change out of a baggy "mumu" and into the blouse to make the video more enticing.
Moore remained quiet.
Most of the trial day was over. Testimony concluded with a recording of Moore's meeting in January 2010 with an undercover Lake Wales police officer who she asked to take the blame for Shakespeare's murder. He claimed to be a drug dealer already headed to prison.
On the recording, the officer, Mike Smith, demanded $50,000. Moore offered $10,000 up front and the rest on a one-year payment plan. Or, she said, he could have a two-bedroom house.
The officer, posing as a prison-bound felon, replied: "What do I need a house for?"
The prosecution said it intends to finish its case today.
Moore's attorneys said she has not yet decided whether to testify.
John Barry can be reached at (813) 226-3383 or firstname.lastname@example.org.