Judge needs more time to decide on venue for Sidney Moorer retrial

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – A hearing in the Sidney Moorer case began Wednesday at 4 p.m. but the judge has not yet made a decision on the possibility of a change of venue.

Moorer is charged with kidnapping in the disappearance of Heather Elvis, who was last seen December of 2013.

Moorer’s trial on that charge ended with a mistrial in June. The jury deliberated nine hours over two days before the judge ruled they were deadlocked. Jurors told reporters 10 voted guilty and two not guilty.

Public defender for Sidney Moorer said jurors in Horry County cannot be impartial and that they would like the venue for the trial changed.

During the hearing, the state presented around 100 jury questionnaires from people in Horry County who said they could be fair and impartial.

The state wants to keep the case in Horry County, but if its not possible to keep it in the county, they want the case moved out of the viewing area for Myrtle Beach news media.

At one point in the proceedings, it came up that the judge had talked about moving the case to Georgetown County.  The state maintained that moving the case to Georgetown wouldn’t make that much of a difference because the same media outlets that serve Myrtle Beach also serve Georgetown.

The issue of juror pressures from the community was also brought up in court.

A juror from the last trial mentioned that they were worried about the reaction from their neighbors after the verdict and defense said that was another reason the trial should be moved.

The judge suggested that the concern about jurors getting backlash in their community wouldn’t be as much of a problem in Georgetown County.

Prosecutors presented several documents during the trial that the judge must review before a decision is made.

 

 

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