A judge ordered a trial for suspected wife-killer Barry Morphew, 53, but he stopped short of saying whether he thought jurors would find him guilty of murdering Suzanne Morphew, 49. He said that there is possible exculpatory evidence.
“Is it possible Mr. Morphew would be convicted? Yes,” Chaffee County Judge Patrick Murphy said, according to KUSA. “Is it fairly likely he would be convicted? … This case could go either way in front of a jury.”
Trial is set to begin May 3, 2022. Suzanne Morphew went missing on Mother’s Day 2020. Her husband later appeared in video, in which he suggested someone kidnapped her. He pleaded for her return. It was all allegedly an act. Authorities say he actually killed her.
Prosecutors presented evidence in a preliminary hearing showing that the marriage had been falling apart. Suzanne Morphew wanted to leave her “Jekyll and Hyde” husband, according to texts to a longtime friend. She described him as domineering and manipulative.
“I’d live in a shack right now… I’m sure he won’t make it easy. He has always wanted control,” Suzanne purportedly wrote.
For his part, Barry allegedly learned that his wife was having an affair.
“If I find him, I will shoot off his balls, and shove them down his throat,” he said of the other man, according to FBI testimony.
Defendant Morphew allegedly did five trash runs the day his wife went missing. He was ostensibly out of town for a construction job in Bloomfield, Colorado, but it was a Sunday, and an agent testified that Barry Morphew and his client company would have known they were not allowed to work on that or any Sunday.
Murphy said there was probable cause that Barry Morphew killed Suzanne Morphew. He noted, however, that someone else might have done it. The judge cited DNA evidence of a unidentified man linked to rapes in Illinois and Arizona. It was found in the glovebox of Suzanne’s car.
Suzanne Morphew’s body has never been found. Murphy suggested it was unlikely that she left on her own terms.
Barry Morphew faces charges of first-degree murder, tampering with a deceased human body, tampering with physical evidence, possession of a dangerous weapon, and attempting to influence a public servant. Murphy ordered a $500,000 cash-only bail. Under the terms of a hypothetical release, defendant Morphew cannot leave Chaffee County, and he must surrender his passport and wear an ankle monitor.
[Booking photo of Barry Morphew via Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office]
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