CONWAY, SC (WMBF) – Thursday marked the next step in a case related to the Heather Elvis murder case. Attorneys for Waccamaw Publishers, Inc. and a Horry County Magistrate Aaron Butler appeared in court for a hearing regarding the search warrants in the Elvis case.
Attorneys for the newspaper company argue the warrants in the case should be made public. An attorney for the paper, Jay Bender, said Butler rejected the newspaper's request for the warrants initially because the case is under investigation.
Attorney Jay Bender, who is representing Waccamaw Publishers, said that should not matter because warrants become judicial records that should be open to the public.
"We have two people in jail their premises have been searched," added Bender. "Was that search legitimate? Was there a basis for that search? Who gets to make the decision that the system is working appropriately? We the people and the only way the people can do that is to look at their institutions and actions."
A reporter for one of Waccamaw Publishers' news outlets requested the warrants following the arrests of Sidney and Tammy Moorer. The Moorers are accused of kidnapping and murdering Heather Elvis.
One issue for debate in the hearing revolved around the letter exchange between Bender and Butler regarding the warrants.
Judge Steven John asked Bender if he could refer him to something that shows a decision in writing is the same as a decision made in a hearing.
Eventually, John heard Bender's case then all attorneys moved past the issue and make their cases in regards to warrants.
Now Judge John must decide if this case falls under his jurisdiction. If that happens, John could then rule is the warrants should be released or not.