Prosecutors and defense attorneys revealed new details about evidence in Suzanne Morphew murder case at a hearing to address issues with discovery.
As previously reported, Barry Morphew is charged with numerous counts, including first-degree murder, in the disappearance and presumed death of his wife. Suzanne disappeared on Mother’s Day weekend in 2020, and Barry was arrested for her murder a year later.
According to Fox 21 News, the hearing on Thursday provided some clues about the evidence prosecutors have gathered in the murder case against Barry Morphew. The defendant’s attorneys have complained about receiving insufficient discovery items — evidence provided to the defense by the prosecution in preparation for trial — and difficulty accessing some of the discovery that has been provided.
Morphew’s attorneys also argued at the hearing that the evidence does not appear to support a first-degree murder charge.
“It is unfair that Mr. Morphew is sitting in jail being held hostage when there is no physical evidence that a murder has occurred.” Morphew’s defense attorney Iris Eytan said at the hearing, according to Fox 2 News reporter Lauren Scharf.
The defense attorneys said they have had difficulty accessing data from hard drives with discovery material, as well as audio recordings that appear to be key to the investigation. Eytan reportedly said the defense team is having trouble hearing a recording made on a so-called spy pen. The lawyer indicated that defense wants the FBI-enhanced recording as the original recording is too difficult to decipher. She also said that Suzanne Morphew can be heard talking to an unknown male in a spy pen recording.
Further, the defense attorneys said they were having trouble with cell phone data from Barry Morphew’s phone as well as the phones of his daughters, Mallory and Macy.
An assistant District Attorney said at the hearing the prosecutors have been working with the defense team to provide discovery, and challenged an apparent claim that prosecutors did not release certain discovery items in a timely manner.
“The statement of we’ve had all this discovery for a year, is just not true. I understand our obligation of discovery. We’ve had conversations with Eytan and Neilsen over a dozen times trying to remedy issues,” the assistant District Attorney said, according to Scharf. “The court realizes that this case is massive. When we get it (discovery), we give it. If we don’t have it, we can’t provide it. We’ve tried to work with them.”
The judge denied the defense request for bail and a reduction in charges. According to the Fox 21 report, the judge also ruled that the prosecution did not comply with his order to share all the evidence in June. Prosecutors have seven days to share this evidence, including the enhanced recording of the spy cam audio and surveillance footage taken from the hotel where Barry Morphew was staying when his wife was first reported missing.
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