Sidney Moorer’s retrial continues as defense begins to call witnesses

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MONDAY 6 P.M. UPDATED

CONWAY, SC (WBTW) – The state finished testimony Monday morning in the retrial of Sidney Moorer for the kidnapping of Heather Elvis.

A forensics investigator took the stand first on Monday to talk about the GPS navigator in Sidney Moorer’s truck as his retrial continues. He testified the SD card used to store location information was removed at 12:07 am on December 18, 2013, the night Heather disappeared.

During cross examinations, the defense argued the system does not notify the user when the SD card is reinserted and the GPS information does not place their client at Peachtree Landing that night.

The state called Jacob Melton, a friend of Sidney Moorer’s son, to the stand. Melton testified the Moorer’s bought a new surveillance system after Heather disappeared.

Melton also told the jury about a tattoo Moorer got of his wife’s name, Tammy, after she found out about his affair with Heather.

During cross examinations, Melton testified the Moorer’s received death threats after Heather’s disappearance, which could have explained why they purchased a new surveillance system.

Melton’s mother, Laura Garlitz took the stand to testify about the time Sidney and Tammy Moorer came to her home a week before Heather disappeared.

“Tammy came in my door, Sidney behind her, and I could tell she had been drinking. She was happy and bubbly and bouncing around, and she came in and she wanted to smoke pot,” Garlitz said on the stand.

Garlitz testified Tammy never informed her she was trying to get pregnant that night.

Tammy’s cousin, Donald Demarino took the stand and testified he saw a picture of Heather after she disappeared. He described the photo as upsetting.

“In that picture, did Heather look like she was there under her own free will?” Solictor, Chris Helms asked Demarino. Demarino replied, “no.”

“Let me ask you this, after seeing that picture of Heather back in 2014, do you expect this family to ever hear from her again?” Helms asked. Demarino again replied, “no.”

During cross examinations, the defense argued Demarino is currently in jail for burglary and drug charges.

After the state rested its case, the defense asked for a mistrial based on the lack of evidence placing Moorer at Peachtree Landing the night Heather disappeared.

Judge Markly Dennis denied that motion, and told the defense the evidence “overwhelmingly points to Moorer’s guilt.”

The defense called its first witness of the trial, a forensic video examiner to the stand. He testified the surveillance video of a truck driving around Peachtree Landing the night Heather disappeared, and the police recreation of that video, did not visually match.

The defense called Tammy’s sister, Ashley Caison to the stand. She told the jury she saw Sidney and Tammy on their front porch at 3:00 am the morning Heather disappeared.

Caison explained to the jury why she, Tammy and Sidney spent hours washing the Moorer’s truck after police first visited their home.

“It was really warm outside, and I bought Sidney a cleaning kit for Christmas, because I think it was around the 21st or 22nd probably, but I know it was a really warm day for December, and I wanted him to use this kit, so I had him open the gift early and we all washed our cars,” Caison said.

Caison told the jury they burned the rags used to wash the truck because they did not have a regular garbage collection service, so they typically burned their trash.

Testimony will continue Wednesday. As of yet, Sidney Moorer has not decided if he will take the stand in his own defense.

Moorer is charged in connection to the 2013 disappearance of Heather Elivs in Myrtle Beach.


CONWAY, SC (WBTW) – On Day 5 of testimony Horry County Police Lt. Peter Cestare took the stand. During his testimony, he showed a video that was seized from the Moorer’s house. That video shows Sidney, Tammy and her sister Ashley spending hours cleaning the family’s truck, a few days after officers asked for permission to search it. The video also shows Sidney starting a fire pit and burning the rags used to wash and clean the truck.

“That black Ford F1-50 is parked in the driveway and is being cleaned extensively. The outside, particularly the front doors and the rear passenger doors; the interior crew compartment of that truck is being cleaned extensively, and when I say extensively, it goes on for several hours of them cleaning the car,” Cestare said.

“What also is fairly unusual to me is the rags that they’re cleaning the car with are then burned in a burn pile in the yard,” Cestare added.

Another video Lt. Cestare showed had Sidney switching out the home’s surveillance video cameras a few days after police searched the home with the family’s consent.

Also on the stand was Lt. Jeremy Leach with the State Highway Patrol. Lt. Leach testified that he studied surveillance video of a truck driving to and from the Peachtree Boat Landing the night Heather Elvis disappeared.

Lt. Leach told the jury that the truck in that video had brighter than average headlights and a toolbox similar to the one in the Moorer’s truck. Leach said he recreated the 2013 surveillance video by driving Moorer’s truck past the same camera and that the recreation matched the original video.

During cross-examinations, the defense argued that Leach could not see the truck’s tags from that video and therefore he could not determine it was Sidney’s truck.

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