CHAFFEE COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4)- It’s been a total of four days of Barry Morphew’s preliminary hearing, and his defense team told the judge on Tuesday they did not believe prosecutors proved the “proof was evident” nor the “presumption great” enough to convict Barry for the murder of his wife Suzanne. They pleaded with the judge to make a ruling on this immediately so their client wouldn’t have to sit in jail, but the judge declined.
Judge Patrick Murphy explained he had heard more than 20 hours of witness testimony and had 25 pages of notes to go through before deciding if there was enough evidence to proceed to trial. He said he believes there were more witnesses called in this case than any other preliminary hearing he has presided over.
He told council he would make a decision on trial by Sept. 17, at which time he would hold a public hearing to explain his decision, scheduled for 1:30 p.m.
The four-day hearing was split into two sets of days, over two separate weeks.
The focus of the first week revolved around Suzanne’s two-year long affair and her desire to leave a controlling relationship with her husband. The focus of the second week was more about Barry’s behavior leading up to her disappearance.
Former FBI agent Johnathan Grusing spent the most time testifying and explained to the court he believes Barry killed his wife with a tranquilizer dart on May 9. This is the same agent who says Barry asked for immunity, but the defense pointed out this was only after he watched YouTube videos which said, “Don’t talk, do not, because they will use it against you.”
Grusing also testified Barry knew nothing about the bleach or chlorine smell in his hotel room the day Suzanne was reported missing, and acknowledged his room was located directly above the hotel pool. He also said when “decomp dogs” were brought in to search for remains in Barry’s truck, none were detected.
There were also two new witnesses in court Tuesday called upon by the defense.
Deputy Scott Himshoot with the Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office was one of the first to search the Morphew home and discovered the sheath to the needle of the dart in the family dryer. He stated while there were empty tranquilizer darts in Barry’s gun safe, it appeared to him the gun not only had not been used in some time, but that it didn’t work.
Another witness, CBI agent Joseph Cahill, testified according to reports from scientists, there was unknown male DNA found on handlebars and brakes of Suzanne’s bicycle, in the backseat of her car and the glove box. There were three partial DNA profiles returned from the glove box from men all tied to unsolved sexual assault cases.
Cahill told the court he made a call on one case traced back to Tempe, AZ but never followed up on the other two profile matches because he wasn’t aware of them until May of 2021. A year after Suzanne disappeared.
Barry’s family sat behind him the entirety of the four days. His daughters continued to show signs of support for their father, waving and smiling at him at every opportunity.