‘There’s a long way to go:’ Heather Elvis' family reacts after Sidney Moorer found guilty of obstructing justice
CONWAY, SC (WMBF) – Moments after Sidney Moorer was sentenced to 10 years in prison for impeding the investigation into the December 2013 disappearance of Heather Elvis, the missing girl's mother was feeling conflicted.
"I don't want to say I'm happy because I'm not happy," Debbi Elvis said. "There was no good outcome for this trial, none, because a man - a father - just went to jail. But it is a step."
Following a mistrial being declared in Moorer's 2016 kidnapping trial in connection with Elvis' disappearance, a jury found him guilty of obstruction of justice
After deliberating for almost an hour, the 12-person panel came back with its verdict a few minutes after 5 p.m. on Wednesday.
The defendant chose not to testify on his own behalf. He appeared emotional at times, dabbing at his eyes with a paper towel.
Before court wrapped up, Judge Markley Dennis sentenced Moorer to 10 years in prison, the maximum penalty he could receive. He will receive credit for time already served, which was from Feb. 21, 2014 to Feb. 1, 2015, according to the defense attorneys.
"It's amazing to see, finally, the judicial system working in the way it's supposed to," said Terry Elvis, Heather Elvis' father. "It's taken a long time to get to where we're at. There's a long way to go."
Wednesday's verdict followed three days of testimony in this trial, in which Moorer was convicted of lying to investigators about making a call to Heather Elvis from a pay phone on the night of her disappearance in December 2013. This was revealed during his first trial last year on a charge of kidnapping.
In her closing argument, assistant solicitor Nancy Livesay noted that records from the pay phone showed that Moorer was the last person to talk to Elvis, for almost 10 minutes.
"He was important, he was key, and his first go-to move was to story to the police," Livesay said in her closing argument.
During defense attorney Kirk Truslow's closing, he said he had never seen such an "atrocious" case from the prosecution.
Following a mistrial being declared in the first kidnapping trial, Moorer will face a jury again on that count. A second trial will be held in Georgetown, but a date has not yet been set.
Sidney Moorer's wife, Tammy Moorer, is also charged with kidnapping. She has not yet gone to trial on her charge and a date has not been set.
Watch the moment the jury renders its verdict and the subsequent sentencing below:
Read more about Heather Elvis' disappearance here:
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