HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — 15th Circuit Solicitor Jimmy Richardson said Sidney Moorer’s trial appeals could go on for years.
In a hearing Wednesday, Moorer’s attorney asked for a new trial in the disappearance of Heather Elvis. Elvis went missing in the early morning hours of Dec. 18, 2013, from Peachtree Boat Landing. She has never been found.
Richardson said asking for a new trial is not uncommon in high-profile cases.
“It happens all the time,” Richardson said. “Every day. All day. The Court of Appeals and Supreme Court, at the state level, are hearing why a person should get a new trial.”
In this case, Moorer’s attorneys believe the new trial should be in Georgetown County, saying the jury pool in Horry County was contaminated by social media. Richardson said they subpoenaed about 700 people years ago for the trial.
“Surprisingly, many people that went on the jury said, ‘I’ve never heard of this case,'” Richardson said. “But just having heard of it or seeing a passing news story on it does not disqualify you.”
Richardson added that the same media outlets that cover Horry County also cover Georgetown County.
“There’s nothing to say, if you couldn’t get a fair jury here,” he said.
Moorer’s attorneys also want the court to reconsider expert testimony from forensic video expert, Grant Frederick, who said in 2019 that Moorer’s truck was seen going toward Peachtree Road near where Heather Elvis’ car was found abandoned.
“If you look at the maps that the state put in the record, there are multiple turnoffs when you get to Peachtree Landing from this road,” Moorer’s appellate attorney Taylor Gilliam said. “And to mention, there’s no confession.”
“Grant Frederick’s resume was put on full display,” Richardson said. “He is literally the best in the nation. He teaches the FBI. If Grant Frederick isn’t an expert, then nobody is.”
Though the Elvis family wants answers and closure, Richardson thinks this will go on for years.
“I feel confident — that everything was done right,” he said. “But either way, it’s going to the Supreme Court and it’ll just go on and on and on for many years.”
Moorer also has an appeal of his obstruction-of-justice conviction scheduled for 9:30 a.m. May 17 in the South Carolina Supreme Court Courtroom.
In December 2020, Moorer asked for the state Supreme Court to overturn his obstruction of justice conviction that was previously denied in July 2020. In his appeal, he stated that him lying to investigators caused the investigators to do a more thorough investigation of the case than they would have if he told them the truth.
“By any measure, having the police conduct a very thorough investigation surrounding the disappearance of a young woman would not be the equivalent of hindering or impeding the investigation,” the appeal stated.
The appeal stated if Moorer told the truth, investigators wouldn’t have gone to the payphone the night of the incident because the conversation happened days after. The appeal also claimed the lead investigator admitted he would’ve investigated the case the same way, even if Moorer was never interviewed.
Moorer’s wife, Tammy, has also been sentenced to 30 years for kidnapping Elvis. Investigators think Elvis was in a relationship with Moorer, leading to motive for her disappearance.
A pregnancy test box was seen at Elvis’ apartment, but wasn’t collected into evidence, according to information presented in court. Judges wondered if it was the same brand as the one Moorer was seen buying hours before she went missing. The applicator was never found.
A decision in the most recent appeal may take months.