(CBS4) – A judge dismissed the case against Barry Morphew, the Chaffee County man accused of murder in the disappearance of his wife, Suzanne Morphew. The dismissal comes hours after prosecutors requested the dismissal on Tuesday morning.
Morphew’s trial was set to begin in Fremont County next week.
Suzanne disappeared after leaving her home for a bike ride on Mother’s Day 2020 and what happened remains a mystery. The highly-publicized case was moved from Chaffee County to Fremont County earlier this year.
The 11th Judicial District Attorney, Linda Stanley, filed the motion to “dismiss without prejudice” which means that prosecutors could file charges against Barry Morphew at a later date.
Andrew Moorman, Suzanne Morphew’s brother told CBS4’s Rick Sallinger, “I’m OK with what happened today. I’m all about finding Suzanne. I just
want closure for my family.”
The motion was filed just minutes before a hearing in the Morphew case on Tuesday morning. The judge will issue the ruling on the motion to dismiss.
The case has been afflicted with complications. The trial was moved out of Chaffee County and into Fremont County in February. Late last year, the judge in the case recused himself after attorneys asked for his dismissal. There have been several hearings regarding what evidence and testimony will be allowed in court.
Last month, a judge in Fremont County ruled some expert witnesses for the prosecution in the upcoming trial cannot testify as experts. Some of the witnesses include a K9 handler who helped in the search for Suzanne after she disappeared in May of 2020. Another expert who won’t be able to testify for the prosecution is a Colorado Parks and Wildlife expert on tranquilizer darts. Those two are now among 12 out of 14 expert witnesses who were not allowed to testify as experts for the prosecution.
Last summer, a former FBI agent revealed investigators found a tranquilizer dart cap in the dryer in the family’s home.
In March, Barry’s lawyers requested that the case be dismissed after they received an internal affairs document surrounding the Colorado Bureau of Investigation’s agent in charge Joe Cahill. In a court filing on March 1, the prosecution says the defense is taking “bits and pieces out of context.” In the internal affairs document, Cahill stated “the arrest of the suspect now as the worst decision that could have been made.” He went on to say “the arrest of the suspect in this investigation was premature” and called it “hasty.”
Barry Morphew was arrested May 5, 2021 on charges of murder after deliberation, tampering with physical evidence and attempting to influence a public servant.