State accuses Tammy Moorer defense team of violating gag order

Published: Mar. 5, 2015 at 2:29 AM EST|Updated: Mar. 5, 2015 at 8:40 PM EST
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HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - The defense team for the woman charged with kidnapping and murdering Heather Elvis has been accused of violating the gag order in the case.

“In preparing this responsive memorandum, the State discovered the counsel for Defendant violated Judge John's Order by making extrajudicial statements about this case on at least three occasions,” states a memorandum filed by prosecutors.

In the motion, the solicitor argued that Tammy Moorer's defense had already violated the gag order, in form of emailed newsletters and comments to the media about the case and defendant.

Horry County Solicitor Jimmy Richardson asked the judge to uphold the order:

It cannot be seriously questioned that prior to Judge John entering the Order in question, there was a reasonable likelihood that prejudicial pretrial news would prevent the Defendant from receiving a fair trial. This case contains the necessary ingredients for public intrigue, as it involves murder, sex and the mysterious disappearance of a young girl. This case has been covered extensively by local, State and national media, and it has been covered prominently in a number of different mediums, including, but not limited to, newspapers, television, and the internet.

The State said, “Human experience teaches us that the public has an insatiable appetite for cases such as the one sub judice, involving the mysterious disappearance of a young woman.”

To view the entire, 46-page motion, download the PDF. Warning: Mobile users, the file is extremely large.

Defense attorneys said the Judge felt he didn't have jurisdiction to address the gag order, since an Horry County judge originally signed the order last March.

In a response to the gag order signed in March, defense attorneys said "since it is clearly not in the best interest of Tammy Moorer, the defense cannot consent to enter into such an order."

The defense mentioned the archives of online information surrounding the case, including more than 90,000 Facebook or news website followers. "Media companies and news companies not only respond to such comments, they actively encourage and promote comments," the defense stated.

To stop this conduct in a case with 90,000 Facebook or news website followers is unrealistic and untenable, said the defense.

To view the motion filed by the defense, download the PDF. Warning: Mobile users, the file is large.

Our efforts to reach defense attorneys Wednesday were unsuccessful.

The murder trial against husband and wife Tammy and Sidney Moorer is scheduled for May.

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