Prosecutors this week asked to drop their case against a woman suspected of having a relationship with a murder defendant. They said they wanted to continue their second-degree criminal trespass case against against Shoshona Louise Darke, 51, but they did not believe they had a good chance to convict, according to Fox 21 News. Darke’s defense maintained that the Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office had been harassing her.
This happens as a judge recused himself not only from her case, but also from the murder case against her alleged lover Barry Morphew, 54, who is currently charged with murdering his missing wife Suzanne Morphew, a mother of two who police authorities say was killed at age 49.
This is the trespassing charge on the Morphew’s former home in Maysville. #ShoshonaDarke was arrested on Sept. 28. Her attorney wanted to make a note to the court that this was emblematic of harassment that Darke suffered from the Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office. @FOX21News
— Lauren Scharf (@LaurenScharfTV) December 29, 2021
Authorities have said that Darke took a package from the front door of a Salida home. Barry Morphew used to own this residence.
Judge Patrick Murphy presided over both cases but recused himself from both. He acknowledged he was close friends with Sean McDermott, partner in the law firm that represents Darke. That is a problem because, according to court documents, prosecutors and the defense plan on possibly calling Darke as a witness in the murder case.
The court order shows that a partner in the firm of #ShoshonaDarke attorney, Sean McDermott, is known to Judge Murphy for over 40 years and is also his nieces godfather. Darke is allegedly in a relationship with #BarryMorphew
Court Document: https://t.co/M5GBK0ugQC
— Lauren Scharf (@LaurenScharfTV) December 30, 2021
As part of the murder case, law enforcement got a tip in December 2020–amid the wife’s presumed disappearance–that Darke was in an intimate relationship with Barry. In this account, Darke denied it, but surveillance footage showed Morphew often going to her home and sometimes staying the night. Darke and Barry Morphew allegedly checked into a Colorado Springs hotel on Feb. 12, 2021. Morphew carried her luggage, and she held a bouquet of flowers.
Morphew was arrested the following May for allegedly murdering his wife. Though Barry Morphew appeared the worried spouse in a video posted online pleading for Suzanne’s return, authorities say he actually killed his wife amid their deteriorating marriage. In a preliminary hearing, investigators said Suzanne wanted to leave her controlling “Jekyll and Hyde” husband. Authorities believe she had been having an affair with former high school classmate John Libler, a married father of six.
[Booking photos via Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office]
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