Court Releases Evidence Photos in Barry Morphew Murder Case
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Court Releases Photos of Tranquilizer Darts, Spy Pen in Suzanne Morphew Murder Case; Alleged Victim Said She ‘Was A Broken Girl’ When She Married Accused Killer

 
Suzanne Morphew and Barry Morphew appear in images distributed by the Chaffee County, Colo. Sheriff's Office.

Suzanne Morphew and Barry Morphew appear in images distributed by the Chaffee County, Colo. Sheriff’s Office.

A judge in Colorado this week released nearly 200 pages of exhibits used during a preliminary hearing for Barry Morphew last September. The long-discussed but never-before-shared materials are key to the case against — and for — the defendant accused in Chaffee County of murdering his wife Suzanne Morphew after he found out she was having an affair.

A litany of defense exhibits include pages and pages of GPS coordinates, some of which are pinned over images of the couple’s house.  Other GPS data contained in the cache is from Barry Morphew’s truck.

Among the prosecution exhibits are what the state believes is the last photo of Suzanne Morphew alive. It is dated 2:03 p.m. on May 9, 2020. The missing-and-presumed-dead wife and mother was reported missing the next day.

A prosecution evidence photo (exhibit 59) portrays an image of Suzanne Morphew dated May 9, 2020, at 2:03 p.m. It is alleged to be the last known photo of Suzanne Morphew alive.

A prosecution evidence photo (exhibit 59) portrays an image of Suzanne Morphew dated May 9, 2020, at 2:03 p.m. It is alleged to be the last known photo of Suzanne Morphew alive.

Also among the exhibits are pictures of Suzanne Morphew’s bicycle.  Neighbors reported that the missing woman went on a bike ride and subsequently disappeared, but those details were allegedly provided to neighbors by the defendant, according to Colorado Springs FOX affiliate KXRM.

State's evidence photo 93 shows Suzanne Morphew's bicycle.

Prosecution exhibit 93 shows Suzanne Morphew’s bicycle.

Prosecutors believe Suzanne generally wore sunglasses, a helmet and a Camelbak water bottle when she rode her bike.  Her sunglasses, the Camelbak, and her purse were still in her Range Rover; her bike helmet, however, turned up less than a mile from her bike.

State's evidence photo 94 shows Suzanne Morphew's bicycle.

Prosecution exhibit 94 shows Suzanne Morphew’s bicycle.

Barry Morphew is charged with first-degree murder, tampering with a deceased human body, tampering with physical evidence, possession of a dangerous weapon (a short rifle), attempting to influence a public servant, forgery of public records, and a ballot offense.  The latter charge is connected to Morphew’s alleged decision to submit a ballot in favor of Donald Trump in the name of his missing wife.

Prosecution exhibit 96 shows a gun allegedly possessed by Barry Morphew.

Prosecution exhibit 96 shows a gun allegedly possessed by Barry Morphew.

Prosecution exhibit 97 shows a gun allegedly possessed by Barry Morphew.

Prosecution exhibit 97 shows a gun allegedly possessed by Barry Morphew.

Included in the images are three photos of injuries prosecutors say Barry Morphew could have sustained during an attack on his wife.

State's exhibit 85 shows injuries to Barry Morphew that prosecutors claimed could have been caused by Suzanne Morphew during an attack.

Prosecution exhibit 85 shows injuries to Barry Morphew that prosecutors claimed could have been caused by Suzanne Morphew during an attack.

Morphew said he was hurt while pushing aside tree branches during the search for his wife.

State's exhibit 86 shows injuries to Barry Morphew that prosecutors claimed could have been caused by Suzanne Morphew during an attack.

Prosecution exhibit 86.

State's exhibit 87 shows injuries to Barry Morphew that prosecutors claimed could have been caused by Suzanne Morphew during an attack.

Prosecution exhibit 87.

“Investigators believe Morphew shot Suzanne with a tranquilizer dart . . . chased her around the house before he allegedly killed her” and “then hid her body,” according to a KXRM report. “However, the tranquilizer gun investigators found was not working.  Morphew claims he uses the tranquilizer darts and gun to sedate deer and remove their antlers.”

The authorities eventually recovered tranquilizer darts in packages from the Morphew property.  The cap to one of the darts was inside the couple’s clothes dryer.

State's exhibit 69 shows a tranquilizer dart recovered from the Morphew property.

Prosecution exhibit 69 shows a tranquilizer dart recovered from the Morphew property.

State's exhibit 71 shows the cap of a tranquilizer dart inside the Morphew clothes dryer. Law&Crime has added a red arrow to the image to point out the cap.  According to a different evidence photo, clothes were also found in the dryer, but they were removed before this image was taken by investigators.

Prosecution exhibit 71 shows the cap of a tranquilizer dart inside the Morphew clothes dryer. Law&Crime has added a red arrow to the image to point out the cap.  According to a different evidence photo, clothes were also found in the dryer, but they were removed before this image was taken by investigators.

State's exhibit 72, Morphew Case.

Prosecution exhibit 72.

State's exhibit 73, Morphew Case.

Prosecution exhibit 73.

Also contained in the cache of materials are photos of a “spy pen” that allegedly captures recordings of Suzanne Morphew speaking with Jeff Libler — described by KXRM as a high school friend and “married father of six with whom she had an affair” for about two years leading up to her disappearance.

State's exhibit 67 shows a spy pen that allegedly recorded conversations between Suzanne Morphew and a man with whom she was having an affair.

Prosecution exhibit 67 shows a spy pen that allegedly recorded conversations between Suzanne Morphew and a man with whom she was having an affair.

The cache of evidence images also includes photos of an unspent shell casing next to a bed — though the available photograph was taken from a distance.  Detectives found a crack in the door frame leading from the master bedroom.  The sheets were strewn to the side of one of the daughter’s beds.

Morphew State's exhibit 80.

Exhibit 80.

Exhibit 81. An evidence flag allegedly stands near an unspent bullet casing.

Exhibit 81. An evidence flag allegedly stands near an unspent bullet casing.

Exhibit 66 shows linens cast to the side of a daughter's bed.

Exhibit 66 shows linens cast to the side of a daughter’s bed.

On May 9, 2020, the day authorities believe Suzanne was murdered, Barry Morphew’s cell phone pinged at multiple locations around his property.  He claimed he was shooting chipmunks when FBI agents asked him to explain his movements.  Also on the 9th, the would-be defendant replaced a blade on his Bobcat — a small earthmover.  He also made what KXRM referred to as “several trash runs” at “multiple locations.”

Barry Morphew checked into a Broomfield hotel on May 10, 2020, the day Suzanne was reported missing, purportedly for a construction job.  Among the exhibits are screenshots from surveillance video showing the defendant’s comings and going at that hotel.

And then there are text messages.

“I’m done,” Suzanne Morphew wrote in a deleted text message recovered from Barry Morphew’s phone.

“I could care less what you’re up to and have been for years,” she continued.  “We just need to figure this out civilly.”

Prosecution exhibit 54 depicts a deleted-but-recovered text message from Suzanne to Barry Morphew.

Prosecution exhibit 54 depicts a deleted-but-recovered text message from Suzanne to Barry Morphew.

Other text messages between Suzanne Morphew and a friend accused Barry Morphew of dragging one of the couple’s daughters into troubles with the relationship.

“He’s not stable,” Suzanne apparently wrote in reference to Barry.  “It’s guilt and desperate measures he’s taking.”

Suzanne also appears to have written that one of her daughters — Macy — “knows more than she should” about the couple’s troubles.

“My heart is aching for what he did today,” Suzanne continued in the messages to her friend while referencing her daughter. “She and I had a peaceful fun week. He came in and wrecked it and left making her feel bad for him. It’s sick. He looks for any reason to run. It can be small and he blows up and takes off . . . I believe there’s still another” (ellipses in original).

The meaning of “another” is unclear from the context, but Barry Morphew was accused of having an “intimate” relationship with another woman as the investigation unraveled.  That woman denied the claims but was arrested for allegedly trespassing on the Morphew family’s former property; the charges were eventually dropped.

Suzanne also texted her friend that she couldn’t “win” with her then-husband and claimed in the messages that he was good at “manipulation.”   But elsewhere she admitted she was coming across as “one-sided” and that she done her own “share of damage” to the marriage.  At one point, Suzanne told her friend she threatened to seek a restraining order against Barry.

On April 2, 2020, Suzanne looked back at herself in other text messages to her friend.

“Makes me wonder what the young me was thinking,” she waxed in a moment of self-reflection.  “I was a broken girl just looking for stability and no confidence in who I was.”

She would be gone a little more than a month later.

Barry Morphew’s trial is scheduled for May.  Suzanne Morphew is presumed dead, but her body has never been found.

One bizarre wrinkle in the case is the discovery of unknown male DNA in the glovebox of Suzanne’s car.  That unknown DNA corresponds to partial DNA profiles from numerous unsolved sexual assault cases from three jurisdictions in two different states.  The glovebox sample matched sex crimes in Chicago, Ill., as well as in Phoenix and Tempe, Ariz., investigators revealed during pretrial hearings.

Barry Morphew remains out on bond.  A judge recently allowed him to leave Chaffee County to visit his daughters — one of whom spoke in court to support their father — in a nearby county.

The voluminous exhibit files are embedded below.

[all images, except for the featured photo, via Chaffee County, Colo. court records]

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Aaron Keller holds a juris doctor degree from the University of New Hampshire School of Law and a broadcast journalism degree from Syracuse University.  He is a former anchor and executive producer for the Law&Crime Network and is now a Senior Editor for the Law&Crime website. DISCLAIMER:  This website is for general informational purposes only.  You should not rely on it for legal advice.  Reading this site or interacting with the author via this site does not create an attorney-client relationship.  This website is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.  Speak to a competent lawyer in your jurisdiction for legal advice and representation relevant to your situation.