As if the hoopla over the Barry Morphew murder trial wasn’t enough of a circus, now the defense attorneys representing Barry Morphew have announced they intend to sue prosecutors and investigators for what they claim was unlawful arrest, malicious prosecution, and defamation.
Representatives of the Denver law firm, Fisher & Byrialsen, say they have every intention of filing a lawsuit against 26 individuals associated with the Chaffee Sheriff’s Department, the 11th Judicial District Attorney’s Office (which covers Chaffee, Park, Fremont, and Custer counties), the Colorado Bureau of Investigations, and the Federal Bureau of Investigations. Whether they will follow through on this has not yet been verified.
They claim that evidence they believe to be crucial to the case might demonstrate that someone other than Morphew is responsible for the disappearance and assumed murder of Morphew’s wife Suzanne Morphew. This evidence, they claim, wasn’t presented by the defense at pretrial hearings.
The suit is expected to claim that this evidence, including other unknown DNA found on a car glove box, and a malfunctioning tranquilizer gun, was also omitted from the affidavit for Morphew’s arrest, according to the legal papers filed by Morphew’s attorneys.
The 11th Judicial District Attorney Linda Stanley has not yet responded to the accusations.
Just in the past few weeks, it has been confirmed that Jeff Lindsey, the lead prosecutor in the Chaffee County case against Barry Morphew, accused of murdering his wife over Mother’s Day weekend last year, is leaving the 11th Judicial District. He is transferring to Pueblo to work for the 10th Judicial District under District Attorney Jeff Chostner. The move was announced by 11th Judicial District Attorney Linda Stanley, in an interview she gave earlier this month to the Colorado Springs Gazette.
Lindsey has only been with the 11th Judicial District since January 2021, according to Stanley, brought in, in part, because of his experience with homicide cases. He has handled much of the litigation and presentations during the Morphew court hearings, including sparring with defense attorneys over evidence including cellphone records and surveillance video.
As a result of the pretrial hearings, 11th Judicial District Judge Patrick Murphy allowed Morphew out of jail on $500,000 bail and leg-monitor on Sept. 20., ordering him not to leave Chaffee County except for day trips to meet with his defense team in Denver.
Where Morphew is living during the confinement became an issue when the GPS tracking monitor could not confirm his whereabouts in that rural area. On Wednesday, Oct. 13, Judge Patrick Murphy ruled Morphew can continue to live in the home next to his old house off Puma Path in Maysville without a GPS monitoring him. But this is on condition that he go to Poncha Springs to have the information downloaded each day.
The Morphew trial is set for May 3-June 1, 2022.