HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) - Sidney Moorer, the man accused in the 2013 disappearance of Heather Elvis, is on trial for a second time on a kidnapping charge.
Day one of testimony began on Tuesday with opening statements and eight witnesses testifying.
Moorer’s first kidnapping trial ended with a hung jury in June 2016. His wife, Tammy Moorer, was found guilty of kidnapping Elvis in October 2018 and sentenced to 30 years in prison.
Sidney Moorer is currently serving a 10-year sentence for obstruction of justice charges for impeding the investigation into Elvis’ disappearance.
“It’s been 2,093 days since Heather Elvis could wrap her arms around her father Terry, could kiss her mother Debbi, and tell her little sister Morgan that she loved her, 2,093 days, almost six years,” prosecutor Chris Helms said during his opening statement.
Helms went on to ask jurors to use their logic and common sense to come to a reasonable conclusion. He said they will prove Moorer is guilty by using the circumstances around the case.
The defense on the other hand said circumstantial evidence makes an individual draw a conclusion in their mind.
Defense attorney Jarrette Bouchette, asked the jurors to listen attentively during the trial.
“I just ask that you operate from now until the end of this trial with that presumption of innocence and listen attentively to the evidence that’s being presented,” Bouchette said.
He also said while everyone wants to convict someone in this case to have justice for the Elvis family, he said it would be injustice to find Moorer guilty.
After opening statements, several witnesses took the stand including Jessica Cook, Elvis’ manager at the time at the Tilted Kilt, and co-woker Jody Davenport.
The prosecution and defense asked them about Elvis’ physical and mental state after breaking up from a suspected relationship with Moorer.
Both Cooke and Davenport said Elvis was sad and began to gain weight. Cooke said she oversaw the ordering of uniforms for staff and Elvis went up sevral sizes.
They also said Elvis took a pregnancy test which resulted in an error message.
Cooke and Davenport also said Moorer would bring her coffee, bagels and visit her during work. Both of them said Moorer and Elvis’ relationship wasn’t a secret to anyone who worked at Tilted Kilt.
Prosecutor Nancy Livesay asked Cooke if she had seen Heather Elvis interact with another man and Cooke said she wasn’t aware of anyone else besides Sidney Moorer.
Another witness brought to the stand was the man Heather Elvis went on a date with the night of her disappearance. He said the two had planned to go on a second date and said he doesn’t remember her receiving any phone calls while on their date.
They also brought in an expert with T-Mobile who analyzed the phone records and he went through the last numbers Heather interacted with up until the wee hours of the morning December 18.
The judge said the trial will continue 9:30 a.m. Wednesday.