Florida Lottery Murder Trial: Victim’s Ex Calls Suspect Manipulative
(TAMPA, Fla.) -- The ex-girlfriend of Abraham Shakespeare, the Florida lotto winner who prosecutors say was swindled out of his money and killed by Dee Dee Moore, testified at Moore's trial that Moore lied to her about Shakespeare's running off with another woman when he disappeared.
Sentorria Butler, Shakespeare's ex-girlfriend and the mother of his child, told the court on the ninth day of the trial Thursday that Moore is a divisive and manipulative woman.
"She [Moore] said he ran off with the lady from the bank, and that he wasn't coming back," Butler said. "She wanted me to be so mad with him."
Prosecutors say that Moore, 40, befriended Shakespeare before he vanished in April 2009 after he'd won $30 million in the Florida lottery. After Shakespeare had given away most of his money to people who simply asked for it, Moore agreed to manage the little he had left, but instead, prosecutors say, stole his winnings and killed him.
After days of crying in court throughout the trial, Moore had another emotional outburst on Thursday after Butler's testimony. Tampa, Fla., Judge Emmett Battles temporarily stopped the trial so Moore could pull herself together.
"Ms. Moore, I'm going to tell you once again, you need to compose yourself. ... Do you want another moment to talk to your lawyer?" Battles asked.
Moore was so distraught by Butler's testimony that she yelled out at one point, "I'm tired of these people lying. This is my life."
Moore then insisted that her lawyers, against their better judgment, show portions of a home video she had shot of Butler that Moore believe proved Butler was lying on the witness stand. Butler said Moore had told her that the video was being shot for the website mybabydaddy.com.
Butler testified that Moore manipulated her and got her to say on camera that Shakespeare beat her, and that he had AIDS. Butler said she was lying in the video.
"She showed up with a camera and asked me to participate in her foolish thing of, 'I want to make this thing up, and put it online," Butler told the court.
Jurors also watched a Walmart surveillance video that the prosecution says links Moore to Shakespeare's killing. The footage shows Moore making a $104 cash purchase of gloves, duct tape, plastic sheeting and other items that detectives later found close to where Shakespeare's body was buried.
An informant testified earlier in the trial that he told Moore he would need the items to get rid of Shakespeare's body.
Moore maintains her innocence, saying she was trying to help Shakespeare collect unpaid debts and protect him from the many people trying to take advantage of him.
Prosecutors are not pursuing the death penalty in the case. If Moore is convicted, she faces life in prison.
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