UPDATE 6/24, 3:55 p.m. ET: Jury unable to get past deadlock. Judge declares mistrial, WMBF reports
After several hours of deliberation that began Thursday evening and continued for most of the day on Friday, 12 jurors could not reach a unanimous verdict and a hung jury was declared in the case of Sidney Moorer, who was charged with kidnapping in connection with the December 2013 disappearance of Heather Elvis.
In light of this development, there is a mistrial and the case against Moorer will have to be retried with a new jury.
The hung jury declaration came after four days of testimony, which began Monday with the state's case and ended Thursday with witnesses for the defense and closing arguments from both sides.
Moorer was charged in connection with the December 2013 disappearance of Heather Elvis.
Sidney Moorer and his wife, Tammy Moorer, were both originally charged with murdering Heather Elvis, but those charges were dropped in March. The Moorers were arrested in February 2014 in connection with the disappearance of Elvis, who was 20 years old when she went missing in December 2013.
While Sidney Moorer has been found not guilty of kidnapping in this case, his wife, Tammy Moorer, is still charged with kidnapping, and her trial date has not yet been set. Sidney Moorer also still faces a charge of obstruction of justice for allegedly lying to investigators about making a call to Elvis from a pay phone on the night of her disappearance.
Prior to the jury rendering the verdict Thursday, they listened to four days of testimony from a case that has been two-and-a-half years in the making.
UPDATE 6/24, 2:30 p.m. ET: Jury has indicated they are deadlocked. They have not been brought back in yet. The attorneys are talking with the judge, WMBF reports
2:40 p.m. ET:
The presiding judge has received communication indicating the jury is deadlocked, with a request for further instructions.
"Listen to each other ... give deference,” the judge said, addressing the jury, urging efforts to overcome disagreement.
The jury appears to have asked about “Exhibit 7.” Judge notes there was discrepancy about Eastern Time/Pacific Time reporting, and that recording of testimony is available for reference.
The jury was sent back to deliberations and court is in recess once again.
CONWAY, S.C. -- (WMBF) -- Following an emotional morning of testimony from Heather Elvis' former roommate and closing arguments from both sides, the jury went into deliberations at about 4:50 p.m. Thursday.
The state's closing argument lasted for about one hour, and defense attorney Kirk Truslow spoke for about the same amount of time before the jury was sent to deliberate.
After the state rested its case at about 12:30 p.m. Thursday, Truslow, requested that the judge render a directive verdict in the trial of Moorer, accused with kidnapping missing Heather Elvis.
Crime Watch Daily March 16, 2016 updated report on background of case:
It was the defense's argument that the evidence presented showed an affair between the defendant and Elvis, but there was not enough substantial circumstantial evidence that the Ford F-150 belonging to Moorer was ever at Peachtree Boat Landing, that he was driving it or that Elvis ever got into it.
After weighing the defense's arguments, and the evidence and testimony presented by the state, Judge Markley Dennis denied Truslow's request and ruled that the jury trial would move forward with the defense's case,
Text messages between Sidney Moorer's and Heather Elvis' cellphones were the focus of Wednesday afternoon testimony in Moorer's kidnapping case.
Will Lynch, a North Myrtle Beach police officer, testified that he compiled a report based on data extracted from the defendant's cellphone when he worked on the case while previously an investigator with the Fifteenth Solicitor's Drug Enforcement Unit.
That information included text messages between Moorer's and Elvis' phones, which was shown to the jury.
The messages indicated a relationship between the two, which previous witnesses had testified to. One of the messages from Moorer's phone that Lynch testified about stated, "Sorry, I made a mistake."
Another message sent from Moorer's phone to Elvis' said, "Stop stalking me," according to Lynch's testimony.
A second witness was James Perry, who handles electronic and computer forensics for the Greenville County Sheriff's Office.
Perry testified for solicitor Nancy Livesay that he found evidence on Moorer's computer that was transferred from his cellphone.
That evidence included deleted text messages from the defendant's phone that showed more of the conversation that Lynch had previously testified about.
Two of those messages recovered on the computer and reportedly sent from the defendant's phone said, "I've been having Sidney followed since 2012," while a second stated, "Hey sweetie, you want to meet the missus?" according to Perry.
Earlier in the day, the location of Elvis' cellphone at various times in the early-morning hours of Dec. 18, 2013, was the focal point of testimony offered.
Aaron Edens, an intelligence analyst with the Mateo County, Calif., Sheriff's Office, was recognized as an expert in cellphone forensics investigations. He testified for the state that he compiled a report as to the movements of Elvis' phone.
During a PowerPoint presentation shown to jury, Edens walked the panel through his report. At one point, Elvis' phone was located at her residence on White River Drive.
Then, around 2:42 a.m., Elvis' phone was located at Longbeard's restaurant in the Carolina Forest area, Edens testified. It remained there until 2:56 a.m., and a minute later, it was heading to Augusta Plantation Drive and back to the restaurant, returning at 3:01 a.m.
From 3:02 to 3:15 a.m., Edens testified, Elvis' phone remained at Longbeard's. Then, starting at 3:16 a.m., the phone was heading back to Elvis' location, arriving there three minutes later.
The phone was at Elvis' residence for five more minutes before moving from White River Drive to Peachtree Boat Landing starting at 3:25 a.m., according to Edens' testimony.
At 3:37 a.m., Elvis' phone was said to be at Peachtree Boat Landing, Edens testified. The PowerPoint presentation shown to the jury also indicated that four calls were placed from her phone to Moorer's.
The last slide shown to the jury indicated that the last location of Elvis' phone was Peachtree Boat Landing at 3:42 a.m., on Dec. 18, 2013.
The last witness before the lunch recess was Devon Soles. During his short testimony, he indicated he works at Beach Ford and that Moorer purchased a black four-door Ford F150 on Nov. 8, 2013.
Day three of the trial started with the jurors getting a ride past the area where two surveillance cameras recorded footage in the early-morning hours of Dec. 18, 2013.
That footage was shown to the jury during Tuesday's portion of the trial. The surveillance cameras showed the areas of Mill Pond Road and S.C. 814, which are both in the vicinity of the Peachtree Boat Landing.
It was at Peachtree Boat Landing that Heather Elvis' vehicle was discovered on Dec. 18, 2013. She has been missing ever since, with Moorer charged in connection with the case.
Sidney Moorer and his wife, Tammy Moorer, were both originally charged with murdering Heather Elvis. But those charges were dropped in March.
Tammy Moorer is also charged with kidnapping. A trial date for her has not yet been set.
The Moorers were arrested in February 2014 in connection with the disappearance of Elvis, who was 20 years old when she went missing in December 2013.
FULL STORY: Sidney Moorer Trial - WMBF