‘I felt sorry for the kids:’ Jury foreman in Tammy Moorer trial said evidence, testimony took an emotional toll
HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – The jury foreman who was seated on Tammy Moorer’s kidnapping trial last October said it was about three quarters of the way through the proceedings when she knew her decision would be guilty and it made her sick to her stomach.
“It was very hard for a lot of them and especially for me, because I felt sorry for the kids,” said juror Donna Marlow.
That jury convicted Moorer on kidnapping charges stemming from the December 2013 disappearance of Heather Elvis. She was sentenced to 30 years in prison.
Marlow said she was selected by others on the jury to be the foreman and she took that role very seriously.
Almost three weeks in the courtroom had jurors, attorneys and families exhausted, wondering when it would end.
"It was emotional, it was very very emotional,” said Marlow.
She added there was no comfort taken in sending a mother to prison, but it was something she said she knew she had to do.
"What’s going to happen to your kids? They weren’t thinking about the kids. They were not thinking of the kids. They were just thinking of Tammy and how Tammy felt,” said Marlow.
When it came to evidence and testimony, Marlow said she paid close attention to key pieces during the trial like the surveillance videos from Highway 814, D&S Siteworks on Mill Pond Road, Walmart and the payphone.
Marlow said the jury paid attention to the timing of the surveillance videos from Highway 814 and D&S Siteworks, and how similar the two trucks looked.
During the trial, homeowner Joyce Aland testified about the surveillance video she gave police from her home that showed a dark-colored pickup truck driving in the same direction as Peachtree Landing, the last place Elvis' cellphone pinged.
“And that’s when we said, ‘Yeah, at that time of night and the cellphone calls?' I mean really? You put that all together, what can you say, that there was another truck at that time, the same time?” said Marlow.
The jury, she continued, was exhausted by the end of the trial.
"Everybody was overwhelmed. They were tired, didn’t know what to say at the moment because they knew the time was up,” she said.
Marlow said the trial as a whole was a lot to take in for everyone on the jury.
"The two-and-a-half weeks going through what we went through and seeing and hearing the testimony? Some of the testimony was outrageous. It was gross, just gross,” said Marlow.
Moorer took the stand at the very end of the trial.
"To me, she was trying to make herself innocent. She kept on looking at me and smiling and just with a straight face i looked at her back,” said Marlow.
Marlow said she even paid attention to how Moorer acted sitting at the defense table with her attorneys, and her reaction when others would testify.
The process for Marlow was long and draining, and she said she’s glad its over, even though she feels there’s still a long road ahead.
"My next wish for this whole thing is for Heather to be found,” she said.
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