Tuesday, March 18, 2014
An Horry County Circuit Court judge Monday denied bail for Sidney Moorer, 38, and his wife, Tammy, 42, who face murder charges in the case of Heather Elvis.
Judge Steven John rejected the contentions of defense lawyers that the couple had strong ties to the community, were not a flight risk and the evidence of the murder charges was “circumstantial.”
Citing the state and U.S. constitutions, John said that “persons are entitled to bond unless there are certain conditions that the court finds that are would constitute an unreasonable danger to the community or a risk of flight.”
He agreed with the defense that holding the Moorers in jail because of a risk of danger to them was not part of his consideration at all.
“The court has serious questions whether or not the defendants will appear in court,” John said. He added that he will allow the defense at some time in the future a reconsideration if there is new evidence.
The prosecution presented a list of trips the Moorers took out of state and even out of the country, despite not having passports. The solicitor also presented text messages and a number of phone calls between the Moorers and Elvis, who was reported missing Dec. 19 after her car was found at Peachtree landing.
But Sidney Moorer’s attorney did not take the texts seriously. “Persons unknown to the defendants did this,” he said, adding that the phones may have been hacked.
The Moorers were arrested Feb. 21 and initially charged with indecent exposure and hindering the police investigation. Three days later, the each of the Moorers were charged with kidnapping and murder. Sidney Moorer has been held at the J. Reuben Long Detention Center while Tammy Moorer is incarcerated at the Georgetown County Detention Center.
Neither the Moorers nor their lawyers showed any emotion at the judge’s ruling.
And there was absolute silence in the packed third floor courtroom.
As she was escorted out of the courtroom, Tammy Moorer waved to her family.
Terry Elvis addressed the court during the hearing, but his words did not carry to the back of the courtroom.
He stood before the judge, hanging tightly to his daughter and his wife.
Also speaking against the bond request was Horry County Police Chief Saundra Rhodes.
The prosecutor noted that the Moorers had Florida identification, but their defense attorneys said that the identification allowed the couple to cash checks when they visited Orlando and Walt Disney World.
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