Crime

Expert’s, friend’s testimony continues in kidnapping trial for Tammy Moorer

Tammy Moorer walks through the courtroom during a break on the third day of her trial on Wednesday with her attorney Greg McCullough in background. 
Moorer is accused, along with her husband Sidney Moorer, of kidnapping and conspiracy to commit kidnapping in the disappearance of Heather Elvis five years ago. Oct. 10, 2018
Tammy Moorer walks through the courtroom during a break on the third day of her trial on Wednesday with her attorney Greg McCullough in background. Moorer is accused, along with her husband Sidney Moorer, of kidnapping and conspiracy to commit kidnapping in the disappearance of Heather Elvis five years ago. Oct. 10, 2018 jlee@thesunnews.com

One of Tammy Moorer friends and cell phone experts continued to testify on Wednesday as a high-profile kidnapping trial stretched into its third day.

Tammy Moorer faces trial this week on kidnapping and conspiracy charges for her alleged role of the disappearance of Heather Elvis — a 20-year-old who vanished Dec. 18, 2013, and has not been found. She and her husband, Sidney, were charged in connection to the case.

Laura Garlitz, a realtor who knew Tammy Moorer through their children, said she didn’t know Tammy and Sidney to have an open marriage.

Garlitz said days before Elvis went missing, Tammy was at the Garlitz house to show off her new truck - a truck the prosecution contends was near the area where Elvis went missing.

The state contends that Tammy grew angry and jealous after an affair between Sidney and Elvis. The Moorers developed a plan to kidnap Elvis, who was last known to be at Peachtree Landing in the Socastee area, prosecutors say. The state admitted they don’t know what happened to Elvis after they say she was kidnapped.

Tammy’s defense contends she is the scapegoat and has waited years to clear her name.

Sidney and Tammy Moorer’s cases have drawn international attention as the couple was initially charged with kidnapping and murder, but prosecutors later dropped the murder charges.

Sidney Moorer went to trial on the kidnapping charge in 2016, but a jury deadlocked. That case has not been retried and remains active. Last year, a jury found Sidney Moorer guilty of obstructing the police investigation. Judge R. Markley Dennis, who was appointed to hear the case, sentenced him to 10 years in prison.

In April, a grand jury indicted Sidney and Tammy Moorer on conspiracy to kidnap charges. The most recent indictments do not name Elvis as the victim, but say the Moorers conspired on the day Elvis disappeared.

On Wednesday, cell phone tracking expert, Michael Melson also testified. He said data showed almost daily communication between Sidney Moorer and Heather Elvis from July to November 2013.

Around the same time, communication between Tammy and Sidney Moorer ceased, Melson said. Tammy Moorer’s phone contacted Heather’s phone twice in that early November timeframe, he said.

“Pretty much communication between all three phones stopped,” Melson said.

In early December, both Tammy and Sidney’s phones were tracked on towers near the Titled Kilt, where Elvis worked, Melson said.

The night Elvis went missing, Sidney’s Moorer was mostly near his home, but was later picked up in locations on the north side of Myrtle Beach. Tammy’s phone records matched Sidney’s to indicate the phones were together, he added.

The phones were tracked near a Kangaroo Express around 1:00 a.m. the morning Elvis went missing, Melson said. There was no other phone activity until about 3 a.m. when the phones were tracked near the Moorer’s homes.

Melson said Elvis received a phone call from a payphone in the same area where the Moorers’ phones were tracked early Dec. 18. At 2:30 a.m., Elvis tried to call that payphone back. Around 3:15 a.m., Elvis’ phone was tracked near her home and Elvis called Sidney Moorer’s phone and that conversation lasted several minutes.

At 3:40 a.m., Elvis’ phone was tracked at a tower that serves Peachtree Landing where she made four phone calls to Sidney Moorer’s number.

There were no more phone calls by Elvis after that time, Melson said.

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