CONWAY, SC (WMBF) – The defense’s case got off to a rocky start on Thursday, day nine of Tammy Moorer’s kidnapping trial.
Before anyone from the defense’s witness list took the stand, five of those witnesses were not allowed to testify for violating the sequestration order.
This was brought to light by the state, who stood up just before Tammy Moorer's son, Christian Moorer, started taking his oath.
After a short recess, the state came back and called a bailiff to the stand, Jade Pike, who said while escorting Tammy Moorer out of court, she opened the door to the room where her kids were sitting and saw a laptop that was open to a livestream of the trial.
The defendant’s son, Christian Moorer, was called to the stand by the defense. He said he didn't watch any of the livestream at all, but regardless, the judge ruled Tammy Moorer's three children, her mother and another witness who was allegedly present in the courtroom at one point were not allowed to testify.
Afterward, the defense had time to regroup before calling Ashley Caison, Tammy Moorer's sister, to the stand. She discussed her communication with the defendant on Dec. 18, 2013, the day Heather Elvis disappeared.
Caison said she got a text from her sister around 3 a.m. saying she was at home. That’s when she says Tammy’s children went back over to her and Sidney’s house. Ashley Caison says she would watch them whenever Sidney and Tammy were out. She said she asked Tammy to bring her back an ad from Bi-Lo, which she says Tammy did.
Caison also testified about Sidney Moorer’s tattoo of the name ‘Tammy.' She said it was given to him by her husbands friend who isn’t a licensed tattoo artist. She said Sidney was the one who wanted to get it, and he got it back in January of 2012. The jury heard testimony from a witness who is Christian Moorer’s friend, who said he didn’t notice the tattoo on Sidney until 2013.
Solicitor Nancy Livesay got the chance to cross examine Caison around 3 p.m. Thursday - Caison’s testimony taking up most of the day.
First, Livesay asked Caison about text messages she exchanged with Tammy about getting a drink at the Tilted Kilt. Livesay read those texts out loud. In the texts, Tammy said take a picture of someone at the Tilted Kilt - Caison, responding that the person she was looking for wasn’t there.
Nancy Livesay asked if Heather Elvis was the person Caison was looking for while pointing to a picture of her. “I wasn’t looking for anyone. We had a drink at Tilted Kilt,” said Caison. “But you responded back, ‘No she wasn’t there,’” said Livesay. “Yes,” said Caison. “Ok. So you at least had to look around to know if she was there or not, right?” asked Livesay. “Yes,” said Caison.
When Livesay asked again if Heather Elvis was the person she was looking for, Caison said it’s the person Tammy was referring to, but she was not looking for anyone.
The defense only got the chance to call one other witness to the stand Thursday. Bryan Horn testified he knew Heather Elvis briefly. The state started to object early on in his testimony saying it was worried where the testimony was leading to and the relevancy of it. After a brief sidebar with the judge, the defense resumed questioning.
Horn said they would text sometimes, but he didn’t talk to her at all after April of 2013. He said he didn’t know of Elvis’s relationship with Sidney or Tammy Moorer and he really knew nothing about the case.
The judge said before recessing for the day the trial is expected to go into next week. It’s unclear how many more witnesses the defense will call and when Tammy Moorer will take the stand.
Tammy Moorer is expected to take the stand in her own defense. She is charged in connection with the 2013 disappearance of Elvis. Her trial is entering day nine after a jury was seated on Oct. 8.