Sidney Moorer could receive work, good behavior credit to shorten contempt of court sentence

Sidney Moorer could receive work, good behavior credit to shorten contempt of court sentence

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Despite being sentenced Friday to five months in jail for contempt of court, Sidney Moorer could potentially get out of jail sooner than the very end of the year.

HCSO Chief Deputy Tom Fox said a judge can specifically order for a defendant to not receive work credit during a sentence, but Moorer's order doesn't include that, so the jail is required to allow him to work.

Fox said high-profile inmates typically work in the kitchen or grounds inside the secure part of the jail.

If Moorer works eight hours, he would get a one-day credit, Fox said, meaning he could get out in two and a half months rather than five.

Fox also said if Moorer doesn't violate any rules, he could get out even sooner.

The director of J. Reuben Long Detention Center, Wayne Owens, said the judge sentenced Moorer to five months in the detention center for violating the gag order, but he said the sentencing paperwork doesn't indicate whether or not bond for his previous charges was violated. He said he hopes to get more paperwork Tuesday.

Former Chief Deputy Solicitor Fran Humphries said generally people out on bond are required not to break the law and even an allegation could lead to a change in bond. He said the decision on that is up to the court.

Another decision that will be up to the judge is the change of venue, which Humphries said is a very common motion from the defense in high profile cases, but it's extremely rare for that motion to be granted.

Humphries cites a death penalty case from Lexington County when the defendant was tried three times without a change of venue and he said jurors were seated who were aware the defendant had been tried before.

He said the main concern is that jurors can set aside anything they have heard or seen and be fair and impartial based solely on what's presented in court.

Humphries also said the fact the kidnapping trial in June ended in a mistrial isn't usually grounds by itself for a change of venue.

He said change of venue should not be granted until a jury can't be seated where the crime happened and that process usually requires jury qualification and selection.

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