Crime

Sidney Moorer released from jail after serving time for violating gag order

Sidney Moorer is released from jail

Sidney Moorer, charged with kidnapping in the disappearance of Heather Elvis, was released from jail Sept. 28, 2016 after serving 61 days in detention on a contempt charge. Moorer spoke briefly with reporters while he waited to be fitted for a GPS
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Sidney Moorer, charged with kidnapping in the disappearance of Heather Elvis, was released from jail Sept. 28, 2016 after serving 61 days in detention on a contempt charge. Moorer spoke briefly with reporters while he waited to be fitted for a GPS

Sidney Moorer, charged with kidnapping in the disappearance of Heather Elvis, was released from jail Wednesday after serving 61 days in detention on a contempt charge.

Moorer spoke briefly with reporters while he waited to be fitted for a GPS-monitoring anklet.

Most questions were answered with, “I’m not going to talk about that.”

But when asked what he hoped would come out of his second upcoming trial for the kidnapping charge, Moorer simply said, “the truth.” When asked what that truth was, he told reporters to ask Assistant Solicitor Nancy Livesay.

Moorer was sentenced to five months in jail July 29, after Judge R. Markley Dennis found him to be in contempt when he spoke to a reporter, violating a gag order in the first trial of his kidnapping charge. He earned credit for an earlier release through good behavior and picking up work duties at the jail.

Moorer is accused of kidnapping Elvis, who was last seen or heard from Dec. 18, 2013.

Dennis declared a mistrial in the Moorer case on June 24 when a mostly-male jury could not reach a unanimous decision. Ten found Moorer guilty. Two believed he’s innocent.

Outside of the J. Reuben Long Detention Center Wednesday afternoon, Moorer offered a message to the Elvis family: “They should demand the truth, not somebody going to jail. They should demand the truth, period,” he said.

Moorer’s public defender James Gilmore argued Sept. 7 for a change of venue for Moorer’s new trial, telling the court that finding a jury that does not have opinions on the well-publicized case might be an issue here.

Livesay argued against any change of venue, but asked — if it must be moved — for the trial to be moved outside of the media’s coverage area.

Dennis has not yet announced his decision on whether to move the new trial to a different venue.

Moorer said he did not feel like the jury in his first trial was fair and impartial, but he declined to say more Wednesday.

When Moorer was asked what went through his mind during his incarceration, Moorer said he thought about being with his family again.

“I just wanted to get out. I wanted to be back with my family,” he said.

The state called about two dozen witnesses to testify in Moorer’s first trial that stretched into a fourth day before the matter was turned over to the jury.

In the trial, Livesay said that Moorer lured Elvis to Peachtree boat landing in Socastee and kidnapped her. Elvis’ locked and abandoned car was found at the landing Dec. 19, 2013, the day after she was last seen.

Moorer’s attorney in his first trial, Kirk Truslow, argued that other suspects loomed in the background, such as an abusive ex-boyfriend of Elvis’ and a man she had just returned from a first date with, but that Horry County police did not investigate them. And Truslow also pointed to Moorer’s wife, Tammy Moorer, who sent Elvis threatening messages and made harassing phone calls to her, according to testimony.

Sidney and Tammy Moorer were charged with murder in February 2014 in Elvis’ disappearance, but the charges, along with indecent exposure charges, were dismissed for the couple in March. An obstruction of justice charge also was dismissed for Tammy Moorer, who has not yet had a trial date set for the kidnapping charge.

Sidney Moorer is still charged with obstruction of justice, but a trial date has not been set for that charge.

Emily Weaver: 843-444-1722, @TSNEmily

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