Crime

Heather Elvis’ roommate, lead investigator take stand in Sidney Moorer trial

Elvis’ roommate’s testimony cut short

Courtroom debate between state’s attorney Nancy Livesay and Judge R. Markley Dennis over a Heresay objection during the second day Sidney Moorer's obstruction of justice trial.
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Courtroom debate between state’s attorney Nancy Livesay and Judge R. Markley Dennis over a Heresay objection during the second day Sidney Moorer's obstruction of justice trial.

Heather Elvis’ former roommate took the stand in the second day of the trial for Sidney Moorer, who is being tried on an obstruction of justice charge related to Elvis’ 2013 disappearance.

Brianna Warrelmann testified she was Elvis’ roommate, co-worker, and closest friend when Elvis disappeared.

Moorer is charged with stalling the investigation into Elvis’ Deccember 2013 disappearance. Elvis still has not been found.

Warrelmann said Elvis called her on Dec. 18, 2013, the day she went missing, just after Moorer called her from a 10th Avenue payphone.

She testified Elvis was “extremely emotional” during the call.

“She was crying hysterically and couldn’t get her words out,” said Warrelmann, who was barred by the judge from revealing what they discussed after an objection from the defense. The judge ruled her testimony would be hearsay.

The Elvis family was present during court Monday and Tuesday as was Tammy Moorer, the defendant’s wife, and other family.

Debbi Elvis, Heather’s mother, spoke with media following the proceedings Monday and reminded the public her daughter is still missing.

“Even though this trial is going on, and it’s important, the most important thing, is that we find Heather.”

She said information on the case is still needed.

“We’re not going to stop looking. We haven’t stopped looking just because this trial is going on. We still need to find Heather.”

Stephen Schiraldi also took the stand after her and testified to the events of their date on the night of Dec. 17, 2013.

Schiraldi said he spoke to police in the early stages of her disappearance, and said he willingly turned his cellphone over for investigation. The defense asked him if he was certain he told police every detail of their date. Schiraldi said he did to the best of his knowledge.

A T-Mobile employee testified that phone records showed Moorer reached out to Elvis significantly more than she contacted him. Text messages between Sidney Moorer’s cellphone and Elvis’ also revealed Elvis was concerned about Tammy Moorer coming up to the Tilted Kilt while she was working, according to police testimony.

The messages also indicated their relationship was over, according to court testimony.

As the trial got underway Tuesday morning, Jeff Cauble, formerly of Horry County police and the lead investigator on the case, took the stand and told the court he thought Moorer mislead police by not disclosing the call from the payphone and re-iterated much of what police who testified on Monday said.

A portion of an interview with Moorer, Cauble, and Sgt. Jonathan Martin was played in court Tuesday morning.

During the interview on Dec. 20, 2013, which was roughly two days after Elvis disappeared, Moorer told police he used a payphone to contact Elvis that night after they told him they had video evidence of the payphone, according to court testimony.

“If someone spits in my coffee, I’m not going to drink around it,” he told the court as an example of how one instance of dishonesty is enough to taint an entire interview when questioned about how Moorer stating he didn’t use a payphone and quickly correcting his statement cast doubt on the whole interview, creating more work for detectives.

Sgt. Jonathan Martin was grilled by Kirk Truslow, Moorer’s attorney, on Monday. Truslow argued that Moorer actually helped detectives by identifying himself in surveillance video detectives had obtained from a 10th Avenue gas station pay phone – the payphone that was used to call Elvis the night she disappeared, according to testimony.

Truslow questioned Martin on how much time lapsed between Moorer denying using the payphone and Moorer saying he did, and Martin stated about 10 or 15 seconds. Truslow questioned how the brief amount time impeded the investigation. Martin said Moorer dishonesty caused them to question everything he said, and that he should have told police that information during the previous times they spoke with him.

Moorer is also charged with kidnapping in Elvis’ disappearance. A jury deadlocked at his kidnapping trial last summer, and a mistrial was declared.

A date hasn’t been set for a re-trial on that charge.

Moorer’s wife Tammy, 45, is also charged with kidnapping in the case, but has not been to trial, and a court date has not been set.

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