Tammy Moorer to take the stand in her own defense in kidnapping trial

Tammy Moorer sits at the defense table Wednesday and listens during witness testimony. (Source:...
Tammy Moorer sits at the defense table Wednesday and listens during witness testimony. (Source: WMBF News)(WMBF News)
Updated: Oct. 17, 2018 at 5:21 PM EDT
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CONWAY, SC (WMBF) – Tammy Moorer announced to a judge Wednesday afternoon that she intends to testify in her defense.

The defendant made her intention known after the state rested their case in Moorer’s kidnapping trial, which entered day eight on Wednesday. She is charged in connection with the December 2013 disappearance of Heather Elvis.

The jury was dismissed for the day before 4 p.m. Wednesday, as there were scheduling matters to tend to before the defense presented its case. Court is set to resume at 9:30 a.m. Thursday.

Wednesday morning the mother of Sidney Moorer took the stand for the prosecution.

Irene Moorer testified that she’s known Tammy Moorer since the defendant and her son first got together around 20 years ago.

The witness told the jury she was home with her husband on Christmas Eve 2013 when Sidney and Tammy Moorer came by, along with all their children.

Irene Moorer testified they talked for a few hours and that at one point, Tammy Moorer made a reference to violence against her son, Sidney Moorer.

“She said she beat the hell out of him,” Irene Moorer said on the stand in reference to her daughter-in-law and son.

The witness also testified that her son has a tattoo of the word “Tammy” across his stomach.

Irene Moorer, the mother of Sidney Moorer, testified Wednesday in her daughter-in-law's...
Irene Moorer, the mother of Sidney Moorer, testified Wednesday in her daughter-in-law's kidnapping trial. (Source: WMBF News)(WMBF News)

Sidney Moorer was previously tried for kidnapping in connection with Elvis' disappearance. The June 2016 trial ended in a hung jury.

Also on the witness list for the state today was Donald DeMarino. He said he’s Tammy Moorer’s cousin. He said he’s known Sidney every since him and Tammy got married and that he was in their wedding.

DeMarino said he saw a picture of Heather Elvis on a phone while at a family cookout with the Moorer’s.

“When you saw that picture, did it look like Heather Elvis could walk or talk in that picture on the phone?" asked Solicitor Nancy Livesay.

“No ma’am,” said DeMarino.

“And after seeing that picture do you expect anyone to hear from Heather Elvis?” asked Livesay.

“No,” said DeMarino.

He said he never saw the picture or the phone again and it wasn’t until about a year later that he said something to investigators while he was in prison. DeMarino testified that the state didn’t promise anything in return if he came forward nor did he expect anything.

Defense Attorey Greg McCollum had the chance to cross examine DeMarino. In doing that, McCollum brought several things to light, inclulding DeMarino’s criminal history, past drug use, and asking about his truthfulness to law enforcement officers.

DeMarino told McCollum he has a burglary charge and two counts of B&E Auto on his record. He said wasn’t hoping to get treated differently by coming forward.

“How do we know when you’re lying and when you’re not?” asked McCollum. “You don’t,” said DeMarino.

He also said he’s lied to police before. Later in his testimony, McCollum brought up a conversation DeMarino had over the phone with his mother from jail. She asked him about the photo he saw and he told her he didn’t see a picture and to not worry about it. McCollum asked why he lied and he said so his mother doesn’t worry.

McCollum questioned him about the truthfulness of his testimony. “You never saw a photo of Heather Elvis did you?” said McCollum. “I saw a photo,” said DeMarino.

Just after the state rested its case, the defense motioned for a directed verdict and a mistrial. After both sides made their arguments, the judge denied both motions made by the defense and proceeded with the trial. Tammy Moorer along with the jury will be back in court tomorrow for the defense to call its witnesses to the stand.

Follow Marissa Tansino’s live tweets from the courtroom here.

Click here to watch the trial live.

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