An extra wide net is being cast to find potential jurors to hear the trial of Heather Elvis kidnapping suspect Sidney Moorer, which is slated for June.
The number of juror summons and questionnaires that will be mailed out Monday to possible Horry County jurors is way above the average. Coverage of Elvis’ December 2013 disappearance reached the national level and has been on websites, social media, television and radio since then.
Typically, around 150 summons and questionnaires are sent out, but for the trial of Sidney Moorer charged with kidnapping and obstruction of justice in the December 2013 disappearance of 20-year-old Heather Elvis, 800 summons and questionnaires will be sent out, officials said.
“It’s extra to make sure we can get a group that hasn’t heard about the case,” Horry County Solicitor Jimmy Richardson said.
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Richardson said he wasn’t sure what was on the questionnaire, but said it should gauge how much someone knows about the case.
“Everything about this is to make sure that they get a fair trial,” Richardson said.
A list of potential jurors is provided to Horry County by the State Election Commission each year, and those names are collected from voter’s registration; driver’s license and state issued identification cards. Jurors for each term are then chosen through random computer selection, according to the Horry County Clerk of Court website.
If a person were to say they knew all about the case, and they’ve formed opinions on guilt or innocence, then they would not be chosen to serve, Richardson said.
Questionnaires are to be sent in by June 2, according to a scheduling order for all proceedings concerning the case, and the jury panel is set to arrive at the Horry County Courthouse in Conway for the selection process to begin June 20, the order states.
Pretrial motions will be heard the week prior to jury selection, according to the scheduling order.
Sidney Moorer, 40, who was previously involved with Elvis, and his wife Tammy Moorer, 43, were charged with her murder, but the murder charges and indecent exposure charges for the couple were dropped in March. An obstruction of justice charge for Tammy Moorer also was dropped.
However, kidnapping charges still linger for the couple, as well as an obstruction of justice charge for Sidney Moorer.
Elvis, 20, was last heard from Dec. 18, 2013, and her car was found abandoned at Peachtree Boat Landing on Dec. 19, 2013.
After the Moorers arrest in February 2014, they remained jailed through 2014. Tammy Moorer was released in January 2015 and Sidney Moorer was released in February 2015 after bond was set at $100,000 for each of them by Judge Markley Dennis, according to records.
Dennis modified bond for the Moorers and allowed them to move to Florida for work last fall, but they remain under restrictions there.