Judge changes course, grants $100,000 bond to couple charged with killing Horry County woman

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CHARLESTON, South Carolina — A couple facing a murder charge for killing the husband's one-time lover even though her body has not been found were each given a $100,000 bond Friday after spending nearly a year in jail.

Bond had been denied for Tammy and Sidney Moorer. But their defense attorneys asked for another hearing because they said their investigation showed prosecutors didn't have as much evidence as they initially claimed.

Circuit Judge R. Markley Dennis decided to grant bond and require the couple to wear monitors. He also ordered them to stay at least 5 miles away from the home of the victim's parents. Both the suspects' families and the victims' families reported they have been repeatedly harassed and threatened on Facebook.

Tammy and Sidney Moorer are currently scheduled to stand trial in May.

A gag order has been issued in the case, leading to plenty of speculation, but not much information. Attorneys for the Moorers used the bond hearing to publicly attack the prosecution's case.

The defense lawyers said authorities immediately locked on Sidney Moorer as a suspect because he had an affair with Heather Elvis about two months before she disappeared in December 2013.

Moorer also called Elvis from a pay phone about two hours before she disappeared, but his lawyer, Kirk Truslow, said it was simply to tell Elvis to stop bothering him after she kept calling and texting when he ended their brief relationship and reconciled with his wife.

Truslow said the only other evidence was a black truck seen on a surveillance camera driving to and from the boat ramp where Elvis' car was found around the time she disappeared. The Moorers owned a black truck, but so do hundreds of other people in the area, and Truslow said prosecutors had no expert that could link the truck directly to them.

Prosecutor Nancy Livesay told the judge that authorities have substantial circumstantial evidence, including threats Tammy Moorer made on a Facebook page trying to get help finding Elvis after she disappeared and a number of nasty text messages she sent to Elvis.

Tammy Moorer's lawyer also criticized the investigation, saying authorities took Sidney Moorer's mention that he and his wife had sex in a car behind a warehouse to charge them with indecent exposure so police could get warrants to search everything they owned.

"The arrest of them was designed to solve the case," defense attorney Greg McCollum said. "And if they had committed the crime, it might very well have worked."

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