MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Tammy and Sidney Moorer are scheduled to appear in Horry County Court Monday at 2 p.m. for a bond hearing; the couple is charged for kidnapping and murder in the case of missing 20-year-old Heather Elvis.
Reporters are tweeting live from the courthouse - follow @WMBFNews on twitter for up-to-the-minute updates.
UPDATE: The judge denied bond for both Sidney and Tammy Moorer. Details here: http://www.wmbfnews.com/story/24997143/moorers-denied-bond-ahead-of-heather-elvis-murder-trial
WMBF News spoke to the defense attorneys for the Moorers about the case and the developments since the couple was arrested on February 21 and charged with kidnapping, murder, obstruction of justice, and indecent exposure in connection with the investigation into the disappearance of Heather Elvis.
For the Moorers, Monday's bond hearing could be their chance to be released until their trial. Horry County Solicitor Jimmy Richardson says their temporary freedom will be determined by two factors: "A risk to the community, and also flight risk. So that's the only thing the judge is going to look at."
In their first sit-down interview, Moorer attorneys Kirk Truslow and Greg Mccollum insist there's no risk in letting them go.
"He has no connections out of state or out of the country, he has a job, he has no history of violence," said Truslow.
"She's a lifelong resident, she has no criminal history, she's a stay at home mom who home schools her children," said McCollum.
The attorneys represent the Moorers separately, and have very separate opinions on how today's bond hearing will go.
"My expectations are that it is going to quite a big production," Truslow said.
Reporter Alex Holley asked McCollum if he expects Monday's hearing to be a completely normal, standard bond hearing. "I don't know why it wouldn't be," he answered.
But with Heather still missing, the Elvis family has their own beliefs ahead of the Moorers' court appearance.
"There's still information out there," exclaimed Terry Elvis, Heather Elvis' father. "Trying to find any small information that could finish the puzzle so we can find where our daughter is at."
For those who believe the Moorers have that missing puzzle piece for Heather, the attorneys want to remind the community that it's not time for a trial yet.
"Bond is not used as a tool to punish someone, not used as a tool to keep someone in jail," reminded McCollum. "Bond is set so that the court is assured that the people will appear at the proper times."
"They're entitled to a bond," Truslow insisted. "And I would expect them to be given a bond, and one that they can afford."
Heather Elvis' case has been one that the community has followed closely, but after the court appearance Monday afternoon, it's possible we could hear very little about the next steps in the Heather Elvis case leading up to the trial. It's a new twist in the case: the Horry County Solicitor's office has filed for a gag order.
"I think that it is a rare thing these days," said Truslow. "So I was a bit surprised about it."
The motion would mean by law, prosecutors and defense attorneys could not talk about the Heather Elvis case before the trial. It would not apply to Elvis family supporters or those individuals supporting the Moorers in the case.
Solicitor Jimmy Richardson says it's about keeping the trial where the crime happened. Due to all the attention, he feels a request could come forward to move the trial away, and outside of Horry County.
"One way that you can stop that from happening, is to have everybody stop trying the case in the media," said Richardson.
But after police reports and warrants have been shared with the public, Sidney Moorer's attorney thinks this request is already too late to have an impact.
"Particularly, I'm not sure what else speculation or rumor could be talked about that has not already been talked about," said Truslow.
With the Moorers already up for a bond hearing for kidnapping and murder charges Monday, McCollum thinks this motion can wait.
"So keep these both separate for now so you can focus on what's more imminent?" Holley asked.
"Yes I'd like to focus on one thing at a time," McCollum responded.
The presiding judge will decide whether Monday is the right time to consider the gag order request. The bond hearing is scheduled for 2 p.m. at the Horry County Government and Justice Building.
For a complete timeline of events leading up to the March 17 bond hearing, click here:
For more coverage of the Heather Elvis case and other missing persons cases, click here:
Tune in to WMBF News this evening for extended interviews with defense attorneys McCollum and Truslow about the case, the latest developments, and the possible outcomes of today's bond hearing.