UPDATE 5:50 p.m. ET: Sidney Moorer sentenced to 10 years for obstruction of justice, will receive credit for one year already served, WMBF reports.
A jury has returned a verdict of guilty in the obstruction of justice trial for Sidney Moorer, WMBF reports.
After deliberating for almost an hour, the jury came back with its verdict.
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.
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.
CONWAY, S.C. -- (WMBF) -- The third day of the obstruction of justice trial for Sidney Moorer included testimony by a forensic expert specializing in analyzing cell phone location data and from Tammy Moorer's cousin, who said Sidney Moorer showed him “something” on a cell phone indicating that Moorer knew more about Elvis’ disappearance than what he told police.
Michael Melson, an expert witness for the prosecution provides software to investigators that analyzes cell phone records and gives visual representations of that data. Melson showed a presentation that detailed cell phone location information for Heather Elvis’ and Sidney Moorers’ phones in December 2013, the month Elvis went missing.
The analyzed data showed that, among other things, the last calls placed by Elvis’ phone were in the early morning hours of December 18, and the cell phone towers used were consistent with the phone being located at Peachtree Landing at that time.
Melson also said there was a gap in data between 1 a.m. and 3 a.m. on December 18, which defense attorney Kirk Truslow had Melson contend could possibly have been due to a dead cell phone battery. Moorer’s location data appeared to confirm that he did place a phone call to Heather Elvis from a pay phone on 10th Avenue in Myrtle Beach. The state has argued that Moorer initially lied to police about this call, hindering their investigation and leading to the obstruction of justice charge.
Truslow grilled Melson on the possibility that the location data is inaccurate, as either phone may have used a different tower, if cell phone traffic on the closest tower to the phone was enough to jam it up. Melson said that 1 a.m., it was unlikely that the closest cell phone tower would have been jammed.
The next witness called was Donald Demarino, a cousin of Tammy Moorer, Sidney Moorer’s wife. He testified that after Elvis’ disappearance, Moorer showed him “something” on a cell phone indicating that Moorer had more information about Elvis' disappearance than what he told police. What was shown was not disclosed during this trial.
The defense asked Demarino if he was charged with obstruction of justice after not taking the information revealed to him to police. Demarino said he was not charged.
The state rested its case after Demarino was called down from the stand, and the jury was sent on their lunch break until 2 p.m. Wednesday.