FREMONT COUNTY, Colo. – The trial of a Colorado man accused of murdering his wife will go forward, though not without controversy.
A judge ruled last week that Barry Morphew’s case can proceed. Morphew is accused of killing his wife, Suzanne, in 2020.
Suzanne Morphew is a former resident of Alexandria, Indiana, who moved to Colorado several years ago. She disappeared on Mother’s Day weekend in 2020, setting off a large search and an extensive investigation into her disappearance.
Police arrested her husband a year later, in May 2021. The expansive case involved 70 investigators, thousands of hours and more than 135 search warrants. Police interviewed 400 witnesses in multiple states and checked into more than 1,400 tips.
Suzanne’s body has never been found.
Barry Morphew is charged with first-degree murder and tampering with evidence. Prosecutors later accused him of submitting a presidential ballot in his wife’s name.
Attorneys for Morphew had asked for the case to be dismissed, saying there was no evidence of a murder.
“It has been well established and confessed by the prosecution that there is no body, no confession, no eyewitness testimony, or physical evidence that Ms. Morphew is dead, was murdered, or that Mr. Morphew is responsible,” his attorneys wrote, according to KXRM.
The defense team also said it hadn’t received all the prosecution’s discovery materials. Judge Ramsey Lama acknowledged the prosecution’s shortcomings in sharing materials. He had earlier struck down testimony from several expert witnesses.
Many of the discovery violations involve missing deadlines to turn over certain materials. The judge said the prosecution displayed a “continuing pattern” of failing to meet its obligations under Rule 16, which is its duty to turn over discovery materials ahead of trial.
Lama also disclosed that investigators were aware of a DNA match that didn’t belong to Morphew on some items belonging to Suzanne, including her bike helmet, bike seat and some areas of her car.
That DNA was a partial match for genetic material linked to unsolved sexual assault investigations in Illinois and Arizona.
The information, however, was not provided to the court at the time of Morphew’s arrest. Lama acknowledged that it should have been disclosed in a timelier manner.
Investigators had also disagreed on the timing of Morphew’s arrest and the need for additional evidence.
Morphew’s trial is scheduled to start on April 28 and could last up to five weeks.