‘Penance in prison’: Parole board decides on Sidney Moorer release from prison

Sidney Moorer denied parole on obstruction charge

Sidney Moorer and Assistant Solicitor Chris Helms speak during a parole hearing in the case related to Heather Elvis' disappearance.
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Sidney Moorer and Assistant Solicitor Chris Helms speak during a parole hearing in the case related to Heather Elvis' disappearance.

Sidney Moorer claims he worked to better himself while in prison — taking classes, participating in daily prayers, and if given a do-over, he would not stall the investigation into Heather Elvis’ disappearance.

Elvis’ family didn’t want to hear any of it.

“I don’t think he’s done his penance in prison yet,” Heather’s father, Terry, told a South Carolina parole board.

“He has not taken responsibility for anything he’s done,” her mother, Debbi, told the three-member panel.

Debbi Elvis spoke on behalf of her missing daughter, Heather Elvis at a parole hearing for Sidney Moorer in Columbia on Tuesday. Moorer was denied parole by a three member panel. Nov 27, 2018. Jason Lee

The board quickly, and unanimously, rejected Sidney Moorer’s first parole attempt on Tuesday. Sidney appeared via video from Lee Correctional Institution where he is serving 10 years on an obstruction of justice charge.

In 2017, a jury found him guilty of stalling Horry County police in their investigation into Elvis’ December 2013 disappearance.

Sidney still faces charges on kidnapping and conspiracy in connection to the case. His previous kidnapping trial ended in a hung jury. Sidney has not been retried.

Tuesday’s parole hearing occurred just weeks before the five-year anniversary of Heather’s disappearance from Peachtree Landing.

“We don’t know where she’s at,” Terry Elvis said, “nothing changes on that aspect.”

Roughly six weeks ago, the Elvis family “closed a chapter” in the story when Sidney’s wife, Tammy Moorer, was convicted of conspiracy and kidnapping Elvis. A judge sentenced her to 30 years in prison following a high-profile trial.

“Honestly, she doesn’t cross my mind,” Terry Elvis said about Tammy Moorer,

Her trial focused on circumstantial evidence that showed Sidney’s affair with Heather Elvis. Cellphone records showed Heather Elvis in the Socastee landing area around 3 a.m.

The Moorers’ truck was also seen on surveillance video traveling toward the landing around the same time.

Morgan Elvis told the board she believed that Sidney once cared deeply for her sister. That is no longer the case, as now he only cares about protecting himself.

The family of Heather Elvis spoke to the media following a parole hearing in Columbia for Sidney Moorer on Tuesday. Moorer was denied bond after the Elvis family testified to the board about their missing daughter.

Sidney Moorer still spreads the same lies about the case, lies that Tammy Moorer repeated on a witness stand during her trial, the Elvis family said.

With Sidney and Tammy behind bars, the family hopes it will lead them to tell the truth about what happened and Heather’s location.

“I don’t think they are going to change any time soon,” Terry Elvis said.

Moorer family members flanked Sidney as he spoke wearing his prison-issued, tan jumpsuit. Sporting short black hair and a goatee, Sidney said he didn’t initially feel he committed a crime. That is not how he feels today.

“I understand what I did was wrong,” Moorer said. “Any crime is not a small crime. To me it’s not.”

Sidney said he has never been in trouble with the law outside of his obstruction charge and that he spent three years on home confinement ahead of trial without issue.

“I think if I was given a chance, there would be no issue with me ever again,” the 42-year-old said.

That chance will now have to wait at least another year when Sidney can try again for parole.

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