MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - WMBF News anchor Michael Maely was found not guilty for trespassing on Friday.
The six-member jury deliberated for less than an hour after the first witness, Ashley Caison, took the stand to testify. Maely took the stand shortly thereafter, and by 12:30 p.m. all arguments were closed.
, earlier this year, after attempting to get a comment from the parents of Tammy Moorer, the woman charged with kidnapping and murdering 20-year-old Heather Elvis.
According to a court summons from the State of South Carolina, on February 27, Maely entered the land of Tammy's father William Caison, located on the 8700 block of Highway 814 in Myrtle Beach. The Horry County Police report states there are about 100 "no trespassing" signs around Caison's property.
Maely disputed accounts of the police report and testified no "no trespassing" signs were visible on February 27.
Maely was reaching out to Tammy Moorer's family in an attempt to get a comment regarding the allegations against her, and the claims made by a relative of hers in a WMBF News interview.
"Part of our story was about the character of one of the women who is charged with killing Heather Elvis. My duty as a journalist is to seek the truth and all sides and perspectives," Maely stated. "My goal in going there was to give them the chance to respond to some other interviews that suggested information about the character of their sister. I wanted to give them a chance to respond to that and that was my goal in going there."
Ashley Caison stated that she screamed at Maely and told him he was trespassing and needed to go. During cross examination, Caison told the courtroom that Maely didn't step foot on her porch or try to make his way through the door, a story that contradicts the account in the first police report.
In that report, Mr. Caison said Maely went up on the porch and put his foot in the door to keep him from closing it.