CONWAY, SC (WBTW) – Sidney Moorer, the man accused of kidnapping Heather Elvis, was in court Tuesday for day two of his obstruction of justice trial.
Police say Moorer lied about his communication with Elvis the night she disappeared, and during Tuesday’s court happenings, the prosecutors lost what may be an important piece of testimony.
Elvis’ best friend, Bri Warrelmann, says she spoke with Elvis the night she disappeared. Warrelmann claims in that conversation Elvis told her that Moorer called her. Warrelmann recalls Elvis was upset, but when the prosecutors asked Warrelmann to describe what Elvis did after speaking with Moorer, the judge put an end to the testimony.
The judge said Warrelmann’s testimony would be hearsay, not permissible in court.
“The worst thing that can happen, I think, is to have this case have to be retried because we went too far in allowing evidence that really wasn’t critical to your case,” the judge said to the prosecutors.
Warrellmann, however, has testified before. She took the stand last year during Moorer’s kidnapping trial, which ended in a mistrial.
During the 2016 trial, Warrelmann said Elvis told her that Moorer called, claiming he was ready to leave his wife.
Warrelmann wasn’t able to give that information to jurors Tuesday, and without that key testimony, Tuesday’s jurors only have Moorer’s side of the story.
Moorer claims he told Elvis to leave him alone. He was happy with his wife and wanted no relationship with Elvis.
Much of the testimony in Tuesday’s court proceedings was witnesses repeating the same basic information.
Police say Moorer lied about his pay phone call to Elvis until investigators said they had Moorer on surveillance video making the call. Officials say Moorer’s lie held up the investigation as detectives had to verify everything Moorer claimed.
“Now it wasn’t until he felt trapped at the time, during our interview, that we, when we told him we had a video, it appeared at that time that he felt like he needed to come clean to us, at that point, and tell us that he actually made a phone call,” describes former Horry County Police Detective Jess Cauble. “So, yes, things would have definitely been different if he hadn’t withheld that information.”
Moorer’s defense team questions whether his lie really held up the investigation, saying he admitted to the truth within seconds of the lie.
Prosecutors did point out another inconsistency with Moorer’s story.
The jury heard a police interview Tuesday where Moorer said he started seeing Elvis in September. Phone records show Moorer and Elvis had communication as early as July.
The trial will continue Wednesday morning. News13 will stream the court happenings on Facebook Live. Download the News13 mobile app and we’ll send you an alert when the trial begins.