Solicitor talks Heather Elvis case for the first time after gag order lifted

Grand Strand Crime

CONWAY, SC (WBTW)- Sidney Moorer was found guilty of of kidnapping and conspiracy to kidnap Heather Elvis on Wednesday; lifting the gag order in the case.

For the first time in nearly six years, Solicitor Jimmy Richardson is able to talk about the Moorer trials and the Heather Elvis case.

Solicitor Jimmy Richardson said his first feeling when that guilty verdict came down was relief. He said this case has been consuming for nearly six years and there are 10,000 pages of evidence.

He openly talked about how and why the evidence is circumstantial. In both Sidney and Tammy Moorer’s trials the defense argues the prosecution has no DNA evidence and Solicitor Jimmy Richardson admits there were missteps early in the investigation.

He said the jury could not deny the timeline laid out by the prosecution using cell phone records and surveillance footage placing Sidney Moorer at the Peachtree boat landing the same time as Heather Elvis in the early morning hours of December 18th 2013.

The jury reached a guilty verdict in less than two hours.

“The circumstantial evidence locked each piece of it one after the other, and the big thing is that truck going down there. There’s no way to get around that,” said Richardson.

Another key piece of evidence in Sidney’s second trial was video from the Moorer’s security cameras showing them spending hours cleaning the truck and burning rags.

Richardson said the Moorers destroyed everything in their control.

Heather’s body has never been found. The Moorer’s were charged with murder a few years ago, but the solicitor’s office dropped those charges. Jimmy Richardson said at the time it was a tough decision, but said it was the right one.

“There wasn’t enough for murder. There’s still not enough for murder and if I had tied murder to kidnapping and thrown it all up against the wall there was a possibilty of a jury cutting them loose of murder. When you start cutting them loose of one thing, it’s easy to cut them loose of all of it,” said Richardson.

Richarson said the ulitmate goal is to find Heather. He said now that Sidney and Tammy are both sentenced to 30 years, pressure has been applied and he’s holding out hope for answers.

Richardson said a person has one year from the time their sentence starts to provide substantial help to the state. If they do, they will be put back in front of a judge who can modify their sentence.

Sidney has 364 more days to do that. Tammy has about two weeks.

The Elvis family made it clear to the judge on Wednesday they just want to find Heather.

“At this point, you can give him a day if he’ll will tell us where she is,” said Terry Elvis, Heather’s father.

News 13 asked Richardson what deal he would accept from the Moorers.

“We could easily get what happened. I could easily put together the story. but that isn’t enough. For me, I’ve got to give the family something to bury,” said Richardson.

News 13 also asked about Sidney’s statement in court, and if there’s been any indication Sidney knows where Heather is.

“If i could finally give them closure I would. I mean anything I’d tell them it would be a lie. There’s nothing I can tell them to give them any closure. I understand, I have children of my own, I get it. There’s just nothing I can give them for closure,” Sidney Moorer said to the judge Wednesday.

“That feeds into some of the things I know and don’t want to discuss. I think there’s still a possibility to give this family closure,” said Richardson.

Sidney Moorer’s defense attorneys said they plan to appeal.

Richardson said they are still actively working on the case following tips and leads.

Meanwhile, a lawyer hired by the Moorers promises a civil suit will prove they aren’t guilty.

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