Judge R. Markley Dennis denied a motion to kill a revised indictment charging Sidney Moorer with obstructing justice in two interviews he had with police after Heather Elvis’ disappearance.
But Dennis is considering a motion to suppress one of those interviews in which Moorer said he never left his wife’s side and was even handcuffed to his bed the night Elvis went missing. In an interview with officers at the Horry County Police Department headquarters, Moorer said he never called Elvis that night, a statement he later corrected after police mentioned the call records and video evidence they obtained.
“Had you used any other phones that night? Your wife’s phone? Did you make any payphone calls?” Detective Jonathan Martin asked Moorer in an interview that was replayed Monday in court during a hearing on pretrial motions.
“Nope,” Moorer said. “Do they still have payphones?”
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“There was a phone call made to Heather that night from a payphone at the gas station on 10th Avenue. We have video from that. Did you try calling her for just a minute?” Martin asked in the recording.
“Are you sure?” Martin asked in the recording.
“How about we start again,” Martin says.
“OK. I did. I called her,” Moorer admitted, but he said the call was only to tell Elvis to leave him alone and stop leaving notes on his car.
In the interview, Moorer told police he didn’t want his wife to know he was calling Elvis so he parked across the street and walked to a payphone out of sight. But officers questioned that logic in the interview, adding that the payphone call lasted four minutes.
Moorer said his wife had trust issues with him after learning of his affair with Elvis and he had agreed to be handcuffed to their bed each night for six months after she found out.
Moorer struggled to recall exactly where he went with his wife the night anyone last heard from Elvis, which was another oddity Martin pointed out in court on Monday.
“We’re talking about what you did two nights ago, not even 48 hours earlier and he was like, ‘Well, I think I went there. I may have gone there. No, no, I think we did that.’ And he said he hadn’t been drinking so for him to have such a loss of memory from two nights previous seemed out of context,” Martin said.
Moorer’s wife, Tammy Moorer, raised her hand when the judge asked defense attorneys if they had any witnesses to call in support of their motion to suppress. No witnesses were called.
Defense attorneys argued that the interview should be thrown out since Moorer was not read his Miranda rights before the interview with Martin began.
But Martin was one of four officers Moorer spoke to at the station that day, according to testimony. The first officer was former Detective Allen Large, who Martin said was not a lead detective on the case.
The judge said he would consider the motion and make a ruling on a later date.
Sidney and Tammy Moorer have been charged with kidnapping in the disappearance of Heather Elvis, who was last seen in December 2013. Sidney Moorer is set to go to trial on the obstruction charge Aug. 28.
Tammy Moorer was initially set to have a hearing Monday on a contempt of court charge after she was accused of violating a gag order in the case. That hearing was continued.
Sidney Moorer was found to be in contempt for violating the gag order last July and served 61 days in jail after speaking to a reporter during the first trial on his kidnapping charge. That trial ended with a hung jury, but the state announced plans to retry the kidnapping case. The new trial — yet to be set — will be held in Georgetown County.
No trial date has been set for Tammy Moorer’s kidnapping charge.