Wife who allegedly kidnapped husband's lover claims they had open marriage


The lawyers for a South Carolina woman on trial for allegedly plotting to abduct her husband’s lover argued she wouldn’t have been jealous of his affair because they were in an “open marriage.”

Tammy Moorer’s attorneys laid out their case, claiming she had her own boyfriend, in the trial Wednesday for kidnapping charges stemming from the 2013 disappearance of 20-year-old Heather Elvis.

Elvis was allegedly having an affair with Moorer’s husband, Sidney, before she vanished and abandoned her car near a boat landing in Myrtle Beach on Dec. 18. 2013.

Nearly five years later, the young hostess’ body has not been found.

The Moorers are accused of conspiring to kidnap Elvis after rumors surfaced in the small resort town that she may be pregnant. Prosecutors alleged this week that Tammy Moorer was overcome with jealousy and wanted to get the young hostess out of the picture.

But the defense team pointed to an interview with a detective in 2014 in which Tammy says that Sidney “doesn’t keep secrets from her” and she was aware of his extramarital affair. She insisted in the police interview — which was filmed before the couple was charged in February 2014 — that she was in an open marriage.

In the recorded conversation, which was played Wednesday for jurors, the detective showed Moorer a hotel key found in Elvis’ car and Sidney’s receipt to the room.

Carmen Rodriguez, a former officer from the Horry County Sheriff’s Office, testified that she presented the evidence to Moorer because she wanted to “explain what Heather and Sidney had was a little more serious.”

“[Tammy Moorer] was putting different things [on social media] that it was just a hop skip and jump in the backseat of the car,” Rodriguez told the court.

Moorer’s lawyers, however, noted that the defendant didn’t appear to have an emotional reaction to news of the hotel room rendezvous, only taking a photo of the receipt.

Rodriguez testified the conversation was at the behest of Moorer, who visited the department to follow up on reports of alleged harassment that she filed.

Moorer allegedly was concerned for the welfare of her children, claiming that vigilantes were trespassing on her property looking for evidence in the 20-year-old’s disappearance.

“She is coming in complaining about her children being harassed and in the same breath, she is calling [Heather Elvis] a psycho whore,” Senior Assistant Solicitor Nancy Livesay said.

The proceedings Wednesday marked the second day of testimony in the trial. Sidney Moorer — who is slated to take the stand in his wife’s trial this week — was sentenced in 2017 to 10 years in prison for obstruction of justice in the case.

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