Sidney Moorer’s attorneys argue Miranda rights should’ve been read

Sidney and Tammy exchange words before hearing begins.

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – The couple accused of kidnapping Heather Elvis appeared in court Monday.

Those in the courtroom heard one of the first police interviews from 2013 with Sidney Moorer prior to his arrest in the 20-year-old’s disappearance. An Horry County Police investigator explained what didn’t make sense about that interview Monday in court.

Sidney Moorer goes on trial for obstruction of justice at the end of August. Prosecutors say he somehow interfered with the investigation after Elvis disappeared.

During the motions hearing Monday, Sidney Moorer’s attorneys and prosecutors fought over what evidence would be allowed. Moorer’s attorneys wanted the obstruction of justice charge thrown out, but the judge denied that motion.

Moorer’s attorneys also want the police interview thrown out as evidence, but the judge didn’t make a decision on that piece of evidence.

Sergeant Jonathan Martin interviewed Sidney Moorer in the days following Elvis’ disappearance. Moorer told officers he hadn’t talked to Elvis since October 2013 when he broke off their affair.

“Did you make any payphone calls?” the detective asks in the audio played in court Monday.

Horry County Police had phone records showing someone called Elvis from a payphone on the night she disappeared.

“They still have payphones?” laughs Moorer in the interview.

Moorer initially denied the call, but then police revealed they had surveillance video.

“Did you try calling her just a minute, a second? Are you sure?” questions the detective. “How about we start again?”

“I did,” Moorer admits eventually. “I called her.”

Moorer said he called Elvis from a payphone at a gas station while his wife sat in his truck across the street.

“Because I didn’t want my wife to know I was calling her (Heather),” Moorer justifies using the pay phone.

Police didn’t understand why Moorer called Elvis on that night.

“Just for him to make contact with her, just out of the blue on a great night where he was with his wife, having work, consensual relations with his wife, didn’t make sense to then call his 20-year-old ex-girlfriend,” argues the detective.

Moorer’s explanation for the call didn’t leave the investigators any more confident in his answers.

“I asked her to please leave me alone because she had been leaving notes in our car,” Moorer describes of Elvis.

Moorer didn’t tell officers he had just bought a new truck, weeks after he said he last spoke to Elvis.

“Would it have changed your questioning if you had known all that information then?” asked Senior Assistant Solicitor Nancy Livesay in court.

“Yes ma’am. I probably would’ve asked him, ‘Well how did she know it was your truck?’” the detective responds.

Moorer’s attorneys say he should’ve been read his Miranda rights before that interview, but prosecutors disagree, saying the interview was voluntary.

The judge didn’t say when he’ll decide whether the interview can be used as evidence in Moorer’s upcoming trial.