SALIDA, Colo. (CBS4) – It was a long day of mainly confusion during motions hearing for the murder case against Barry Morphew. He awaits trial for the disappearance and murder of his wife, Suzanne.
Barry’s defense team filed numerous motions ahead of next year’s trial date in an effort to have the case thrown out.
On Tuesday, a number of those motions were expected to be addressed by Judge Patrick Murphy, but discussions from prosecutors on relevancy of some of the arguments presented, followed by long-winded explanations from the defense, ate up more time than the judge anticipated.
Judge Murphy said the motions hearing would have to continue another day.
The judge wanted to address the motion regarding discovery violations, violations of a court order to limit pre-trial publicity, a second case involving a lawsuit filed by Barry Morphew’s attorneys against nearly everyone involved in the investigation, in addition to other items, but was only found time to address one motion.
“I’d like to have something productive come out of this hearing,” Murphy told the court at one point.
The defense subpoenaed six people involved in the case to testify Tuesday, including former Deputy DA Jeff Lindsey. Lindsey was one of the lead prosecutors on the case, but left his position in October.
Due to technical difficulties, Lindsey was unable to testify Tuesday, but defense attorney Iris Eytan says he influenced investigators to omit certain information when testifying at the preliminary hearing. She alleges there were conversations prior to the prelim behind closed doors where these communications occurred and went unreported.
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Eytan said she discovered, only after the preliminary hearing, that investigators deliberately withheld pertinent information that may have influenced the judge not to set the case for trial.
She says she believes investigators and the district attorney’s office even destroyed evidence.
“It appears that numerous oral statements have not been provided to us that we believe are exculpatory,” Eytan told the judge.
Eytan claimed she learned this might be the case after taking with forensic experts with the Colorado Bureau of Investigations. She discovered there were communications logs that were not provided to her until later in the case.
In these logs it is clear there was extensive research done into DNA leads discovered by swabs from Suzanne Morphew’s bike and car. During preliminary hearing testimony, investigators claimed they hadn’t followed up on these leads and had little knowledge of the details.
In court, Eytan said this behavior was, “indicative of a pattern of misconduct and failure to provide exculpatory evidence prior to major hearings.”
Eytan said while she was provided some of the missing discovery, still has yet to see other communications between investigators- like texts and emails regarding the case.
The judge, going just past his 5 p.m. cut off time Tuesday, asked the defense for a specific list of missing items and ordered both sides to meet for clarification on the issues that need to be addressed.
Murphy was briefly able to comment on the issue of pre-trial publicity. While the defense alleges the prosecution crossed a line, the judge said it would have to wait for Dec. 14 at 1 p.m.