Bond denied for Tammy Moorer

Bond denied for Sidney and Tammy Moorer
The Moorers in court, awaiting their bond hearing. (Source: Stephanie Robusto)
The Moorers in court, awaiting their bond hearing. (Source: Stephanie Robusto)
Supporters for the Elvis family and the Moorers pass through courtroom security. (Source: Stephanie Robusto)
Supporters for the Elvis family and the Moorers pass through courtroom security. (Source: Stephanie Robusto)
Dozens of Elvis family supporters wait at the courthouse security checkpoint. (Source; Stephanie Robusto)
Dozens of Elvis family supporters wait at the courthouse security checkpoint. (Source; Stephanie Robusto)
Judge Steven John presides over the bond hearing Monday.
Judge Steven John presides over the bond hearing Monday.

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – Bond was denied for Tammy Moorer on Friday morning, in an Horry County courtroom.

During the hearing, it was revealed Moorer is pregnant, according to a defense attorney. Greg McCollum is defending Moorer.

Tammy Moorer is accused of murdering 20-year-old Heather Elvis.

After Moorer entered into the courtroom, her attorney stood to address the judge, and said there have been developments regarding the defendant.

The attorney started by saying Moorer's father passed away while she was in jail, because he was not in good health and the extra stress of having his daughter and son-in-law incarcerated, accused of murder.

It was stated that Moorer was scheduled to call her father, but claims were made that something went wrong, and she was unable to call out. Her attorney said later that evening, her father passed away.

The attorney said by Moorer being in jail and unable to see her children, along with the death of her father, she became sick and was taken to the hospital.

McCollum then stated, at 42-years-old, Moorer was pregnant. He said Moorer is in her second trimester.

He told the judge that she and her husband, Sidney Moorer, had been trying to get pregnant before being incarcerated.

The attorney expressed concerns that in the past, Moorer had problems with pregnancy, having a miscarriage.

He said he wanted to bring it to the attention of the court. He said he believed [previous problems with pregnancy] were a significant factor to her, the jail's staff, and to her unborn child.

The attorney then launched into concerns of the investigation. He said there is a misconception about Moorer's connection to the disappearance of Heather Elvis and her interaction with police.

He claimed Moorer freely allowed police to come into her home and search the house and surrounding areas of her land. He continued, saying Moorer voluntarily went to the police station to answer questions.

He defended Moorer, with reports that Moorer's truck was taken to the forensic team, for more than 10 days. He said Moorer complied with police. He said every test was done to the vehicle and claimed no forensic evidence was found. The attorney used hair and body tissue as an example.

He said he believes Moorer is innocent. McCollum stated he is not asking for a not guilty plea, simply for a bond reconsideration.

Solicitor's office stands to address claims

Donna Elder, with the Solicitor's office, said a bond reconsideration is not the time to go back over evidence. She disagreed with McCollum and said the investigation was not rushed. She said police did not give in to public pressure by making a hasty arrest, but instead took their time to look at all evidence and conduct a thorough investigation.

Elder claimed Moorer's initial pregnancy test was negative when she was transferred to Georgetown County Detention Center.

Despite two additional positive tests, the State questions the validity of those exams. Elder said on March 26, a test showed elevated hormone levels, which could suggest a pregnancy. Elder said Moorer was tested again, two days later. She said the doctor said the levels should have doubled if Moorer was pregnant, but the levels did not.

Elder claimed Moorer is refusing prenatal vitamins, prenatal care, and any care from nurses.

However, Moorer's attorney reiterated his client is, in fact, pregnant.

"The evidence that we presented in court is that she's been examined by two different doctors, in two different hospitals, and that she is pregnant. We believe that to be true. It is hard for us to imagine it any other way," said McCollum.

Judge denies bond

The judge said the decision to deny bond was based on the defense team not having enough change in circumstance for the court to modify a reconsideration. The judge said more concrete medical evidence is needed to show a positive pregnancy, for a reconsideration regarding Moorer.

The judge told Moorer's attorney it would be left up to the defense team to ask for another bond reconsideration, if her condition changed.

WMBF News Reporter Stephanie Robusto asked McCollum if would follow up with a reconsideration. He said there is no plan to ask, at this time.

WMBF News Reporter Stephanie Robusto asked McCollum if would follow up with a reconsideration. He said there is no plan to ask, at this time.

Original bond hearing

Tammy and Sidney Moorer appeared in Horry County Court in mid-March for the original bond hearing.

At that time, the Horry County solicitor began the hearing by reading the charges against the Moorers: one count each of murder, kidnapping, and obstruction of justice, and two counts each of indecent exposure. The indecent exposure charges come after Sidney Moorer said he had relations with his wife in his car, according to Moorer's attorney, Kirk Truslow.

Truslow asked the judge for a reasonable bond, due to his ties to his community, his family, and his lack of a prior criminal record. He said that the case is "an extremely circumstantial case at best," with "incredible speculation and rumor."

Tammy Moorer's attorney, Greg McCollum, also argued that she has no prior criminal record, not even a traffic ticket. McCollum added that Tammy has a strong faith in the court system, and is ready to face the charges and build her case.

State prosecutors presented a complete timeline of events leading up the Elvis' disappearance, including video footage, and phone records from the night Elvis disappeared. Prosecutors said they have evidence of Heather Elvis going to Peachtree Landing the night she disappeared, along with a truck from the Moorer home.

State prosecutors presented phone and text message logs showing that Tammy Moorer had threatened Heather Elvis prior to her disappearance in mid-December, 2013. Then, no phone calls or texts were exchanged between the Moorers and Elvis until Dec. 17 the night Heather disappeared. At 3:41 a.m., all phone data ended for her cell phone.

According to prosecutors, the Moorers talked about buying land near Orlando, moving to Belize, or running to Canada. The state then asked the judge that bond be denied because they are a flight risk and the danger to them from the community.

Horry County Police Chief Saundra Rhodes said that after the Moorers have called police 39 times after receiving multiple threats on social media. She added that police have spent hundreds of hours on the case and immeasurable resources investigating it.

Terry Elvis, Heather's father, pleaded with the judge to protect his family, including his youngest daughter, by not granting bond.

Sidney's attorney Truslow said the case has "snowballed" into an "outrageous witch hunt where there is no real evidence." He argued that the state has only circumstantial, speculative, and even fabricated evidence.

The judge presiding over this case, Judge Steven John, denied bond for both Sidney and Tammy Moorer. The judge added that if more evidence is presented, he will allow for reconsideration.

Judge John did not hear the request for a gag order during the bond hearing Monday.

Security at the courthouse was tight, with guards using a wand to check everyone entering the courtroom, in addition to metal detectors at each entrance. Terry and Debbi Elvis, Heather's parents, arrived shortly before the bond hearing was scheduled to start.

Nearly 100 people were estimated to have shown up at the courthouse to support the Elvis family, many wearing T-shirts and pins with Heather Elvis' picture. A couple of dozen people also showed up in support of the Moorers. Court officials told the supporters that no one is allowed to enter the courtroom wearing clothing supporting either Heather Elvis or the Moorers, and supporters removed their pins and turned their shirts inside-out to comply.

Get exclusive insight into this case from extended interviews with the Moorers' defense attorneys and state prosecutors: 

For more background on today's bond hearing, including exclusive interviews with the Moorers' defense attorneys, click here: 

View a complete timeline of events in this case leading up to the bond hearing: 

For the latest on the Heather Elvis investigation and other missing persons cases in our area, head to:

Copyright 2014 WMBF News. All rights reserved. Information from WMBF News partner contributed to this report.