Day 5: Jury deadlocked, state requests 'Allen charge'

Day 5: Jury deadlocked, state requests 'Allen charge'

CONWAY, SC (WMBF) – The jury in the Sidney Moorer trial returned to the courtroom for a third time Friday after indicating they were deadlocked on their verdict decision.

The state requested an "Allen Charge," meaning that additional instructions will be given in an attempt to break the deadlock and come to a unanimous decision.

Judge Markley Dennis told the 12-person panel it is very normal for jurors to disagree at first, but they can also reach a verdict.

Dennis requested the jurors return to the jury room for further deliberations and to listen to one another.

The jury retired at 2:45 p.m. Friday to prepare to enter their seventh hour of deliberations of the day.

If a unanimous decision cannot be reached, there may be a hung trial in this jury, and the case would have to be retried.


Following a request to cease deliberations for the evening around 7:20 p.m., Thursday, the 12-panel jury tasked with deciding the fate of Sidney Moorer resumed deliberating Friday at 9 a.m.

The case, which sees Moorer charged with kidnapping in connection with the 2013 disappearance of Heather Elvis, was put into the jury's hands at 4:47 p.m. Thursday following closing statements from the prosecution and defense, and four days of witness testimony.

Judge Markley Dennis granted the jury's request to resume deliberations on Friday and did not sequester them. However, he stressed how important it is that they not read or watch any media accounts of the trial.

"You cannot because if you do, it really is at the point now that it has to be redone," he said.

Sidney Moorer and his wife, Tammy Moorer, were both originally charged with murdering Heather Elvis. But those charges were dropped in March.

Tammy Moorer is also charged with kidnapping. A trial date for her has not yet been set.

The Moorers were arrested in February 2014 in connection with the disappearance of Elvis, who was 20 years old when she went missing in December 2013.

Stay with WMBF News on air and online for complete coverage of the trial.

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