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Preliminary hearings on the Suzanne Morphew murder case, concerning her husband Barry Morphew are set to continue on Monday, with hearings scheduled to begin at 8:00 a.m. Aug. 23 and 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 24.

Morphew is facing five charges:

Barry Morphew was booked into the Chaffee County Jail on three charges, including First Degree Homicide, and charges were later increased to five. Courtesy photo.

Count 1: Murder in the First Degree – between and including May 9 and May 10, 2020, Morphew deliberately and with intent caused the death of his wife Suzanne Morphew.

Count 2: Tampering with a deceased human body – That between May 9 and May 10, 2020 he disposed of the body or parts of a human body or human remains

Count 3: Tampering with physical evidence – That between May 9, 2020 and March 4, 2021 he destroyed, mutilated, or concealed physical evidence that tied him to the crime.

Count 4: Possession of a dangerous weapon — That between May 9, 2020  and March 4, 2021, he possessed a short rifle in violation of Section 18-12-102(3), C.R.S.

Count 5: Attempt to influence a public servant — That between May 10 2020 and May 5, 2021, Morphew attempted to influence public servants regarding their investigation of the case: Damon Brown, Lamine Mulenax, Robin Burgess. Alexander Walker, Joseph Cahill, Derek Graham, Kenneth Harris, and Jonathan Grusing.

During the first two days of the pretrial hearing (Aug. 9 and 10) in District Court, the audience heard testimony from witnesses who painted a picture of a disturbed marriage with trust unraveling; a relationship with financial strains, emotional abuse, and apparent infidelity on both sides of the relationship.

Witnesses testified that Suzanne had written a list of grievances against her husband, and had shared her thoughts with close friends and her sister. They confirmed that the couple’s two grown daughters were aware of the stress in the relationship and that Barry would pull the daughters into their arguments and attempt to get them on his side.

It was revealed that Suzanne was recovering from cancer and had recently worked only briefly as a teacher, but her husband held the threat of loss of medical coverage over her head as a threat to prevent her from leaving him.

Grusing testified that an examination of cell phone GPS coordinates showed that on May 9, 2020, Barry’s phone was recorded circling their rural home several times, as if he were chasing something, or someone.  While their rural neighbors heard nothing, Barry claimed he’d been “shooting chipmunks.”