Attorney acknowledges Moorer’s lie, questions its impact on investigation

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CONWAY, SC (WBTW) – Sidney Moorer is back in court Tuesday morning for day two of his obstruction of justice trial.

Heather Elvis, the 20-year-old Moorer is accused of kidnapping, was last heard from Dec. 18, 2013. Elvis’ car was found abandoned near Peachtree Landing along the Waccamaw River.

The indictment for an obstruction of justice charge was originally filed against Moorer Feb. 27, 2014. The indictment alleges that Moorer purposefully acted in a way that “prevented, obstructed, impeded, or hindered the administration of justice,” around Dec. 20, 2013.

Jury selection was underway around 10 a.m. Monday morning. The trial resumed with the 12 chosen jurors and two alternates at 2 p.m. Eleven of the jurors and men and three are women. Many of the jurors are reported to be middle-aged men.

The obstruction of justice charge appears to focus on a call Sidney made on a payphone to Heather Elvis the night she disappeared.

Sidney initially didn’t tell investigators about the call. In one instance, he denied the call, but a few minutes later, when investigators said they had video, he admitted to it.

In the opening statements, prosecutors said Sidney held up the investigation at a crucial time.

“His dishonesty, his deceit, led investigators down one path, then they had to follow up on the story he told. You’ll hear it. Doesn’t make sense. Why wouldn’t he just be honest when he was last person to talk to her twice? Once with a payphone. Why? So that law enforcement wouldn’t find Heather Elvis,” said assistant solicitor Josh Holford.

Sidney’s attorney did say Sidney lied, but said he told the truth within a few seconds. Sidney’s attorneys repeatedly asked how a ten second lie really affected the overall investigation.

“He’s accused of false statement that impeded investigation. You knew the lie was a lie for 10 seconds. How did that impede you?” asked defense attorney Kirk Truslow.

Prosecutors maintain they had to question everything about Sidney after they learned he lied.

“The first couple of days, 24, 48, 72 hours of an investigation, is the most crucial time. What could law enforcement have done if they had the correct information early on? What direction would law enforcement have gone if the defendant had been honest early on,” asked solicitor Josh Holford.

Sidney’s attorneys have already attacked the police work by Horry County police on this case.

Sergeant Danny Furr testified about a phone call with Sidney just after Heather disappeared.  Sgt. Furr said Sidney told him he hadn’t spoken to Heather in six weeks.

That testimony would suggest Sidney lied, but according to the written police report, Sidney said he hadn’t seen Heather in six weeks.

“This is what we got to go by, right? Yes. Either what you remember from almost four years ago, right, or this document, the only report we got. It says he had not s-e-e-n her,” said Truslow, as he questioned Sgt. Furr.

Sgt. Furr noted one of his subordinates wrote the report, not him.

A retrial for Moorer’s kidnapping charge is planned in Georgetown County, but a date has not been set for that trial.