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Lead Investigator In Barry Morphew Case Allegedly Felt Arrest Was Premature And Called It The ‘Worst’ Decision
Barry Morphew’s attorneys have argued the murder case against Morphew should be dismissed.
A lead investigator in the Barry Morphew case allegedly felt the Colorado father’s arrest was premature, calling it the “worst” decision that could be made, according to a defense motion to dismiss the charges released Tuesday.
Morphew’s defense team is hoping the murder charge against Morphew—who is accused of killing his wife, Suzanne in May of 2020—is thrown out after arguing that prosecutors withheld “highly exculpatory” evidence from the court during the preliminary hearing, arguing the “outcome of the Preliminary Hearing would have been different” if the evidence was available, according to court documents obtained by KKTV.
In the motion, filed Feb. 9, Morphew’s defense attorney Iris Eytan wrote that during a Dec. 2 interview with internal affairs, former Colorado Bureau of Investigation Agent Joseph Cahill told law enforcement officers “that arresting Mr. Morphew was premature, and the ‘worst’ decision that could be made.”
Cahill also said that “the case was not remotely ready for anybody to move forward,” the motion states.
He had allegedly tried to share his concerns with Chaffee County Sheriff John Spezze and others, but his objections were overruled.
“Mr. Cahill stated that Sheriff Spezze did not heed CBI’s advice or opinions and moved forward with Mr. Morphew’s arrest,” Eytan wrote. “Mr. Cahill summed up by saying, it ‘is what it is.’”
Cahill was undergoing the internal affairs review in December after he had accidentally fired his weapon at home while off duty, striking his own hand, according to KUSA. He resigned from the CBI that same month.
In light of the evidence, Morphew’s defense attorneys asked the judge to dismiss the case against Morphew.
“It is abundantly clear that had the prosecution not intentionally withheld massive amounts of exculpatory evidence prior to the Preliminary Hearing, probable cause would not have been found,” the wrote in the motion. “The only just remedy is dismissal of the case.”
But just weeks later, prosecutors fired back in their response to the motion, arguing that they had “produced tens of thousands of pages of discovery and hours of video and audio recordings” in a “timely manner,” according to the response obtained by KKTV.
“In the defense’s latest motion, they are asking the Court to dismiss a First Degree Murder case because a former CBI Agent, who has been thoroughly discredited, has opined on the timing of arresting the defendant in this case,” District Attorney Linda Stanley wrote.
Stanley went on to call the defense’s request for dismissal “utter nonsense” and said the court released a copy of the internal affairs interview to both the defense and prosecution on the same day, Feb. 3.
According to prosecutors, “it also appears that Mr. Cahill had been put out because he could not be present at the arrest” even though he told internal affairs he had “spent a year of his life putting together” the investigation.
“At no time did Mr. Cahill say that he did not think there was probable cause to arrest or that he thought the defendant was not guilty of murdering his wife,” the motion stated.
Morphew was arrested on May 5, 2021 and charged with first-degree murder, nearly a year after his wife disappeared.
Suzanne vanished on Mother’s Day 2020. Her bike was later found abandoned in Chaffee County, but her body was never recovered. Investigators believe Barry killed his wife after shooting her with a tranquilizer dart at their home the day before and then threw the bike down a hill to mislead authorities.
Suzanne’s body has never been recovered.
His trial is set to begin on April 28, according to NBC News.