Jury finds Sidney Moorer guilty of kidnapping Heather Elvis, sentenced to 30 years

Updated: Sep. 18, 2019 at 11:31 PM EDT
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CONWAY, S.C. (WMBF) – A Horry County jury has found Sidney Moorer guilty of the 2013 kidnapping of Heather Elvis. He was sentenced to 30 years in prison.

The jury came back with a guilty verdict Wednesday, convicting Moorer of kidnapping and conspiracy to commit kidnapping. The verdict came seven days after testimony began.

Jury members began their deliberations around 1:55 p.m. Wednesday and announced they had a verdict around 3:45 p.m.

Sidney Moorer’s defense team immediately requested a retrial once the verdict was handed down. The Elvis family then addressed Judge Markley Dennis and asked for one thing - they just want to know where their loved one is.

Sister Morgan Elvis said their entire family has changed and their community has changed since Heather’s disappearance. Father Terry Elvis pleaded for help to find his daughter.

“You can call it kidnapping, like it’s a one-and-done thing. It’s not, it’s everything. Six years, it hasn’t gone away,” Terry Elvis said to Judge Markley Dennis prior to sentencing. “No one will tell us where our daughter is. At this point, you give him a day if he will just tell us where she’s at. But I don’t think he’ll do it.”

Dennis, who noted that he’s a father himself, offered Terry Elvis some words after the family addressed the court.

“I hope you can find some peace in your life,” Dennis said.

Before the sentence was read, Moorer said there is nothing that he can give to the Elvis family.

I know, I know they suffer. There’s nothing I can give them; I’m sorry but I can’t,” he said.

Dennis sentenced Moorer to 30 years on the kidnapping charge and 30 years on the conspiracy charge. They will run concurrently for a total of 30 years.

Moorer is currently serving a 10-year sentence for obstruction of justice charges for impeding the investigation into Elvis’ disappearance. Dennis said he will leave it up to the Department of Corrections as to whether or not the organization will factor in time already served.

A number of people sat through all seven days of testimony after the jury was seated Sept. 9. The feeling from many is s a sense of relief. They said they hope the Elvis family can find some closure, but know there is still more to come.

“I just could not imagine what they’ve been through and what they’re still going through. I mean, this day is a big deal for them to get the second part of this, but like they said, it’s still not over. They’ve got a guilty verdict but it’s still not over until she comes home,” said Julie Puyear, who was in the courtroom during the verdict.

“I’m very glad that they found him guilty, I think the evidence was overwhelming that showed his guilt. I’m just sorry that they’ve never said what happened to Heather to bring closure to the Elvis family to bring Heather home," Linda Frizzell said.

This verdict fell on the same day that a monthly prayer vigil has been held for years and as those who gathered around the place where it’s believed Heather disappeared her family hangs on to the hope that one day she’ll be found.

“Sidney being sentenced Wednesday the 18th when what they did was on Wednesday the 18th nearly 6 years ago. I mean it couldn’t have been a better date and there’s only one person I know that has anything to do with that’s in charge of dates that could have planned that ahead of time,” her mother said.

Meanwhile, every passing day, her being gone is not getting any easier.

“It’s so much harder because not only are you thinking about it and reliving it in your head, but you’re witnessing it You’re listening to it spelled out for you. I think that has kept us from getting better, from healing properly," her sister said.

This was the second time Moorer was tried in Elvis’ disappearance. He previously went to trial for kidnapping in 2016, which ended with a hung jury.

Moorer’s wife, Tammy Moorer, was found guilty of kidnapping Elvis in October 2018 and also sentenced to 30 years in prison.

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