Moorer sentenced for breaking gag order; judge considering chang - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Moorer sentenced for breaking gag order; judge considering change of venue

Sidney Moorer (Source: J. Reuben Long Detention Center) Sidney Moorer (Source: J. Reuben Long Detention Center)
Sidney Moorer and his attorney on the left, the state's lawyers on the right. (Source: Kaitlin Stansell) Sidney Moorer and his attorney on the left, the state's lawyers on the right. (Source: Kaitlin Stansell)

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – A judge sentenced Sidney Moorer to five months in jail for breaking a gag order by speaking to the press during the trial for the alleged kidnapping of missing woman Heather Elvis.

The judge also granted a postponement of the retrial and discussed a possible change of venue.

The contempt of court sentence was handed down by Judge R. Markley Dennis at a hearing on the morning of Friday, July 29. Moorer spoke to a local media outlet on the second day of his trial for kidnapping, breaking a long-standing gag order preventing any parties from discussing details about the case with the media. Moorer was taken directly to jail following the hearing.

Several other matters were discussed at Friday’s hearing, including a motion to replace Moorer’s attorney, Kirk Truslow, with a public defender. Truslow will remain as co-council on a pro bono basis, according to documents filed Thursday.

A continuance request was granted, delaying Moorer’s retrial from its scheduled date on August 29.

"The delay...I'm not talking about a year. I'm not talking about that at all,” Dennis said.

The judge also discussed a possible change of venue, stating that because the previous trial, which ended with a hung jury, was broadcast by local media, and therefore finding a pool of unbiased jurors in the Horry County area would be difficult.

"I can't ignore the fact that we've had a full trial where everyone has seen it,” Dennis said at the hearing. "We aren't where we were when we tried it the first time." He said that he wanted to review the returned jury questionnaires before making a decision on the change of venue, saying it would be beneficial to both sides to decide on the venue before jury selection happens. He said he will decide whether or not to change the venue by the end of the month.

Dennis said he expected the retrial to take two weeks, beginning with jury selection. 

Related Stories:

Moorer requests continuance for retrial; public defender now appointed to case

Sidney Moorer's retrial scheduled to begin Aug. 29

Witness who testified in Sidney Moorer trial requested back in court starting Aug. 29

Hung jury, mistrial declared in Sidney Moorer trial

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