Crime

Here is how the first morning of Tammy Moorer’s kidnapping defense unfolded

Confusion reigned in a Horry County courtroom on Thursday morning as Tammy Moorer presented her defense in a conspiracy and kidnapping trial.

Moorer faces charges in connection to the disappearance of Heather Elvis in 2013.

Many in attendance expected Tammy Moorer to take the stand to start the day. However, the defense called Sidney Moorer to start its case, and some in gallery believed Tammy’s husband was the person called. But Christian Moorer, one of the Moorer children, entered the courtroom. Christian’s full name is Sidney Christian Moorer.

The state then alerted the court that members of the defense witness list violated a court order for sequestration by watching a live stream of the trial. Judge Benjamin Culbertson ordered a break to determine who violated the order.

Assistant Solicitor Chris Helms said all three of the Moorer’s children violated the term. A Horry County sheriff’s deputy testified she found a computer with the family in a room that was live streaming the trial.

Christian Moorer said he was in the witness room and knew he couldn’t watch a stream of the trial. He testified he didn’t watch the proceedings.

Culbertson found the sequestration order was violated and barred the children and others from testifying.

After the defense took a break to regroup, Tammy’s sister, Ashley Caison, took the stand. She said the family installed security cameras at their home because of ongoing harassment after Elvis went missing.

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Tammy Moorer speaks to attorney Greg McCollum Thursday morning at the Horry County courthouse. Moorer is on trial for kidnapping and conspiracy related to the Heather Elvis disappearance. Josh Bell jbell@thesunnews.com

Tammy and Sidney Moorer face charges related to the disappearance of Elvis on Dec. 18, 2013. She was last known to be in the Peachtree Landing area of Socastee. Solicitors said Tammy grew jealous and angry over an affair between Sidney and Elvis and conspired to kidnap her.

Prosecutors initially charged Tammy and Sidney Moorer with kidnapping and murder, but the murder charges were dropped. 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.

Tammy Moorer has maintained her innocence.

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