CHARLESTON, SC (WMBF) - Bond has been granted for both Sidney and Tammy Moorer, the couple accused of the kidnapping and murder of Heather Elvis. Tammy Moorer posted bond and was released from jail Friday evening, and Sidney was released Monday afternoon.
The bond was set by a Charleston judge at a bond reconsideration hearing Friday. The Moorers' trial is currently scheduled for May, and they have been in jail since their arrest in February 2014. Bond was set at $100,000 each for all charges related to the Heather Elvis case, and both are required to wear a GPS monitoring device.
The Moorers were transported back to J. Reuben Long Detention Center in Horry County shortly after the bond hearing concluded. By Friday afternoon, Tammy Moorer had posted bond and was released at bout 6 p.m. Friday. On Monday at about 2 p.m., Sidney Moorer was also released on bond.
Sidney Moorer's attorney, Kirk Truslow, spoke before the judge on the evidence that the state has against his client. He argued that all physical and direct evidence against his client has been refuted, and that all evidence in the case is circumstantial. He also explained that Sidney is not a flight risk, has a home and job lined up, and has been behind bars for nearly a year.
Tammy Moorer's attorney, Greg McCollum, also argued that his client has no criminal history, and that the arrest of her and Sidney was designed to solve the case. He also argued that there was is no direct evidence against either client, and that Tammy fully cooperated with police.
The prosecuting attorney, Nancy Livesay, argued that there has not been a significant change in circumstances since the first bond hearing for Sidney Moorer, or either of the two bond hearings for Tammy Moorer. She argued that because the Moorers are frequent travelers, and with three months until the scheduled start date of the trial, they do pose more of a flight risk now. She also admitted that all the evidence they have is circumstantial, but they do have a significant amount of it.
"They have been very aggressive on social media, when this first thing started, they were aggressive, arming themselves at their house, I do believe at this point, they are a danger," Livesay added.
The parents of Heather Elvis took the stand, and stated that their family has received threats from the Moorers, and other members of the Moorers' family. Terry Elvis said that the threats did slow down once the Moorers were placed in prison. He asked that the judge consider the safety of their family, the community at large, and the Moorers.
"Their family is causing a danger to the community acting on their behalf," Debbi Elvis added. "I think if they were denied bond, and stayed in jail that they themselves would not be able to incite that and possibly send a message to their family to please stop."
"I would ask that your honor consider ourselves and our safety and consider the safety of the community at large and their safety as well in continuing judge John's no bond verdict," Terry Elvis said.
"I have strong feelings, but I'm required to put those aside," Judge R. Markley Dennis, Jr. said before making his decision. "Because the law says I have to presume absolutely, that both these individuals are innocent, not just not guilty, they are innocent, they didn't do anything and that's the way I have to view them."
After hearing these arguments, Judge R. Markley Dennis, Jr., granted the Moorers personal recognizance bonds, setting the bond at $100,000 for each Moorer for all charges related to the case. The conditions of the bond include GPS monitoring for both Tammy and Sidney. Judge Dennis required that they stay outside of a 5-mile radius from the Elvis' home, and must not have any direct or indirect contact with the family.
"I will set a bond and I'm gonna put some restrictions on it to protect what I'm required to protect and that's you and your family," Judge Dennis said.
After the bond was granted, Horry County Solicitor Jimmy Richardson released a statement. "Today was only about whether or not they were a flight risk and a danger to the community," Solicitor Richardson stated. "We had discussed the possibility of a bond with the family before hand. I think judge Dennis was well thought out. Even though we had asked for bond to be denied we respect his honor's decision."
Horry County judge Steven John denied bond for the Moorers back in March of 2014, one month after they were arrested for Elvis's alleged murder, after hearing evidence from prosecutors who said the Moorers kidnapped and murdered Heather on or about December 18, 2013 at Peachtree Landing.
Judge John said he was "extremely concerned with the potential violence" that could arise if the Moorers were released. A second bond request by Tammy's attorney Greg McCollum was also shot down last May.
Sidney Moorer's attorney, Kirk Truslow, filed the motion for the Friday hearing, mentioning evidence he says proves Sidney Moorer could not be held legally responsible for Heather's disappearance. However, that evidence cannot be released to the public due to a gag order on the case.
Heather Elvis's parents, Debbi and Terry Elvis, were present at the Charleston courtroom during the bond hearing Friday.
"The frustration is more that the focus is on the bond reconsideration, it's -- I still don't know where my daughter is at," Terry Elvis said earlier this week.