A judge in Chaffee County, Colorado, has ruled that there is enough probable cause evidence for the murder trial of Barry Morphew to go forward.
According to multiple local reporters in the courtroom, Judge Patrick Murphy has ruled that Barry Morphew’s will stand trial for the murder of his wife Suzanne Morphew.
Barry Morphew is accused of murdering Suzanne in May 2020. As CrimeOnline previously reported, Suzanne had been missing for a year before her husband was charged with her murder, and her body has not been found. At the preliminary hearing in late August, multiple law enforcement officials and detectives took the stand to present evidence in the case, much of it not previously known to the public.
The judge delayed a decision about Morphew’s trial until September 17, through the majority of the court proceedings ended late last month. Both the state and Morphew’s defense were given 10 minutes to argue their positions before the judge’s final decision on Friday.
During the preliminary hearing, the court heard for the first time that Suzanne Morphew had been having an affair with a former high school classmate at the time of her disappearance, and had told Barry she wanted to separate, apparently due to other issues in their marriage. Barry Morphew appears to have deleted a text message that Suzanne sent days before her disappearance, saying “I’m done.”
It is unclear at this time when Barry Morphew discovered the affair. Fox 21 News reporter Lauren Scharf, who was in the courthouse late last month, reported on Twitter that Barry told his daughters about Suzanne’s affair. The preliminary hearing has spanned multiple weeks with several interruptions.
#BarryMorphew told his daughters about #SuzanneMorphews affair. He allegedly told the girls that Suzanne was a good mother. Told them that her sin was no worse than any sins we do every day. One of the daughters wiped both of her eyes as she cried when this was said.
— Lauren Scharf (@LaurenScharfTV) August 24, 2021
Suzanne appears to have believed her husband had also been unfaithful, and reportedly kept a voice-activated “spy pen” in their home. Some of Suzanne’s conversation with the man she was having an affair with were captured on this device, investigators testified at the hearing. A detective also said on the stand that the spy pen was in a bedroom closet on the day Suzanne was last seen alive.
Both Suzanne and Barry’s daughter, Mallory and Macy Morphew, were in the courtroom during the pretrial hearings, leading up to the decision on Friday.
Reporter Lauren Scharf from Fox 21 News was in the Chaffee County courthouse on Friday, where no cameras were permitted. She detailed the final arguments made by the state and Morphew’s defense attorneys, who said there is not enough evidence of a murder to keep Morphew behind bars.
"There is no motive… just speculation." There isn't proof of the opportunity to kill #SuzanneMorphew and dispose of her. Attorney Connolly added the state gave offensive redirect of hunting her down like an animal. Now the theory is that he carried a syringe, not a gun.
— Lauren Scharf (@LaurenScharfTV) September 17, 2021
A Denver Post reporter, also in the courtroom, said on Twitter that the judge had ruled in favor of the prosecution.
Judge Patrick Murphy has found probably cause and reminds the court "this is not a mini-trial."
— Carol McKinley (@CarolAMcKinley) September 17, 2021
According to that reporter’s account, a judge still has not made a decision on bail. CrimeOnline will provide further updates when more information is available.
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