In a move that shocked some while others had anticipated, the District Attorney’s office dropped all charges against Barry Morphew this morning, causing District 11 Judge Ramsey Lama to dismiss the murder case against Morphew.
The case was to go to trial beginning April 28. Some may have anticipated this move, after most of the witnesses for the DA’s office were rejected by the judge for the manner in which their evidence had been presented. Other evidence that might have shown another alternative for who could have been responsible for the disappearance of Morphew’s wife Suzanne Morphew, and her presumed murder was not provided to the defense attorneys in a manner considered timely.
During pretrial motions hearings, a circus-like atmosphere surrounded the charges and proceedings, as the case has attracted international attention and national news media. The defense team continued to press for a change of judge, and a change of venue, both of which were granted. By December they began to ask for the case to be dismissed.
During the pretrial motions hearings in February and March, the defense attorneys also requested sanctions because of a comment made during an Internal Affairs investigation by former Colorado Bureau of investigation Agent Joe Cahill. He is reported to have said that he believed that the timing of the arrest of Morphew when they did was “the worst decision that you can make.”
In his 20-page brief, Lama wrote that he noted a “continuing pattern” by the prosecuting attorneys described as an “inability and failure to comply” with their obligations to disclose evidence and follow pre-trial procedure. In fact, in a March pretrial motions hearing the court sanctioned the prosecution for their continued violations and has excluded 14 out of 16 of their expert witnesses to testify at trial, including witnesses who could testify to domestic abuse, a circumstance that appears to be at the heart of the prosecution’s case.
It should be noted that withdrawing the murder charges at this time does not preclude the District Attorney’s office from refiling charges at a later time, should new, credible evidence turn up.
What is a fact at this time is this: Suzanne Morphew is still missing. Where she is, and if she is dead or alive, is a mystery.
Featured image: Barry and Suzanne Morphew in a happier time. Suzanne Morphew went missing on Mothers’ Day 2020, and Barry Morphew was charged with her murder in May 2021. Courtesy photo.