CONWAY, SC (WMBF) – The obstruction of justice trial for Sidney Moorer, the man accused of kidnapping missing woman Heather Elvis and obstructing the investigation into her disappearance, began on Monday with jury selection.
The jury was selected by about 12:30 p.m. Monday, and consisted of 11 men and three women.
Moorer is charged with obstruction of justice for allegedly lying to investigators about making a call to Elvis from a pay phone on the night of her disappearance in December 2013. This was revealed during his first trial last year, which was for a kidnapping charge.
In his opening statement, assistant solicitor Josh Holford said Moorer was dishonest and deceitful in the first few days of the investigation into Elvis' disappearance.
Defense attorney James Galmore told the jury that their common sense and life experiences will be used to make a decision in this case.
Following the opening statements, testimony began, with four witnesses being called before Judge Markley Dennis ordered the court to be in recess for the evening.
Three of the witnesses work for the Horry County Police Department and discussed the early days of the investigation following Elvis' disappearance.
During his testimony, HCPD Det. Brian Scales, who was a patrolman in December 2013, said police believed Moorer was the last person to speak with Elvis before she disappeared.
The jury was shown a taped interview between Scales and Moorer that took place in the defendant's driveway during the early-morning hours of Dec. 20, 2013.
Another witness was Jonathan Martin, who was a detective with the HCPD during December 2013. He testified he obtained Elvis' and Moorer's cellphone records for roughly two hours during the early-morning hours of Dec. 18, 2013.
According to Martin, nine calls were made from Elvis' cellphone to the pay phone that was located off Mr. Joe White Avenue in Myrtle Beach.
The witness also testified that Moorer was initially asked if he'd called Elvis on a pay phone. The defendant's response, according to Martin was, "Nope. They still have pay phones?"
Testimony is set to resume Tuesday morning.
Prior to Monday, the defendant previously appeared in court at the end of July for a hearing to discuss issues ahead of the start of the trial, including a motion by the defense to suppress evidence.
One of those pieces of evidence is a taped Dec. 20, 2013 interview between Moorer and a detective with the Horry County Police Department. It was played during the July 31 hearing.
During that interview, the defendant was heard talking about the night Elvis was last heard from. He said he and his wife, Tammy Moorer, were together throughout the evening.
The defendant was also heard saying that he stopped to call Elvis from the pay phone because he was concerned about notes she had been leaving and her driving down his street.
This is Moorer's second time going to trial in regards to Elvis' disappearance.
His initial 2016 kidnapping trial ended in a mistrial. A new trial date has not yet been set on that charge.
Tammy Moorer is also charged with kidnapping in the case, but she has yet to go to trial on her charge. A date has not been scheduled.