Attorneys in Tammy Moorer trial deliver closing arguments
The disappearance of Heather Elvis in 2013 and the actions of an alleged kidnapper, Tammy Moorer, is a fairytale – how it’s told depends on which side of the courtroom you ask.
Senior Assistant Prosecutor Nancy Livesay painted the case like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Elvis was the title role. Tammy Moorer was the Evil Queen. Tammy grew more jealous as her husband, Sidney, showed more favor to Elvis, his mistress, instead of his wife.
“This is a story of jealousy and deceit,” Livesay said.
The defense called the case a fairytale because it’s devoid of physical evidence of Tammy and Sidney Moorer kidnapping Elvis on Dec. 18, 2013.
“The case is a joke, they don’t have a case,” defense attorney Greg McCollum said. “They don’t have one piece of evidence.”
After 10 days of testimony by nearly 40 witnesses, a jury will decide which tale is correct. The panel is set to begin deliberations Tuesday on the kidnapping and conspiracy charges against Tammy Moorer.
Sidney Moorer faces the same charges, but a jury deadlocked in his trial in 2015 and he has not been retried. Last year, a jury found Sidney Moorer guilty of obstruction of justice, and he is serving 10 years in prison.
The state used experts, video surveillance, cellphone data and conversations by Tammy Moorer to paint its picture of a woman scorned by the affair between Elvis and Sidney.
Livesay said that anger manifested on Dec. 18, when Sidney and Tammy drove around looking for Elvis at her workplace and apartment. They later went to a Walmart and bought a pregnancy test – one the state said Heather used.
The Moorers then lured Elvis to the Peachtree Landing area, where they kidnapped her, the state says. Livesay said Elvis believed she was going to the landing to tell Sidney about the results of the pregnancy test.
At 3:17 a.m., there was a call between Elvis and Sidney Moorer that Tammy overheard.
“Tammy, over there,” Livesay said, pointing to the defendant, “listening, plotting and planning.” It was then that Tammy Moorer looked at her children in the courtroom gallery and mouthed some words of encouragement.
It was around 3:30 a.m. that December morning in 2013 that Livesay said the Moorers’ truck was tracked in the Peachtree Landing area at the same time Elvis was trying to call Sidney Moorer.
“When the phone calls are made, you just want to say, ‘Stop! Run!,’” Livesay said.
At 3:40 a.m., Elvis’ phone went dead, and she has not been seen since.
The defense said the state’s theory doesn’t make sense. During her cross examination, Tammy Moorer said she and Sidney never left their house after arriving at 3:10 a.m. Sidney got a call from Elvis, and Tammy went and used the computer, even posting on social media, she said.
Livesay asked Tammy Moorer if she made any posts around 3:40 a.m., which is when the truck is caught on video.
“No, and there is nothing showing I went to a boat landing either,” Tammy Moorer said.
Tammy Moorer was agitated in answering the state’s questions during her cross-examination. She would also turn to the jury at certain points and speak to them directly. Judge Benjamin Culbertson scolded Tammy Moorer a few times for not directly answering Livesay’s questions. That led Tammy to say she didn’t know how to answer one question without providing an explanation before her answer.
“I’ve never been a trouble-making person. I never do that,” Tammy Moorer said.
Her defense attorney, Greg McCollum, noted that there was no physical evidence tying Tammy Moorer to the landing. No fibers or clothes, no forensic evidence, only a grainy video of someone using a payphone hours before Elvis was at Peachtree Landing.
“This is a fairytale because when this thing happened, it just caught on. It was in the news, it was growing bigger and bigger,” McCollum said.
McCollum said the disappearance was immediately consumed by the public, which pressured police to make an arrest. Officers tried to put pressure on Tammy Moorer, and McCollum said it might have worked — if she was guilty.
Livesay implored the jury to give Elvis the justice she deserves, that her family deserves.
“Tammy made the ending she wanted,” Livesay said, “She could not have Heather pregnant in this county with a child belonging to her husband.”