CONWAY, SC (WBTW) – On Wednesday, Judge R Markley Dennis Jr. issued an order granting a change of venue in the case of Sidney Moorer.
According to the order, the venue will be changed from Horry County to Georgetown County and the jury will also be selected from Georgetown County.
Moorer is accused of kidnapping Heather Elvis who disappeared in December 2013 and hasn’t been seen since.
In the first trial, jurors were unable to resolve the deadlock, and could not come to a decision as to whether Moorer kidnapped Heather Elvis. The judge declared a mistrial in the case in June and stated the case will now be retried with a new jury.
The defendant made a motion for change of venue around July 26, the order says.
The state submitted questionnaires from jurors to show that a fair and impartial jury could come from Horry County, but the court decided that due to the social media exposure, the community as a whole was saturated with the case.
“The Court’s primary concern is whether a fair and impartial trail may be had in this case. This Court finds that it cannot,” the document said.
In the order, the judge cites reports of a potential juror posting to Facebook that they “know how to get around the Judge just by saying that they can be unbiased.”
Of the 100 questionnaires submitted by the state that stated they could be unbiased and impartial, 35 percent of the individuals use Facebook, 16 percent had learned about the trial on the internet, and 6 percent openly admit to viewing part of the trial.
Officials have not yet released the new trial date.