A man accused of murdering his wife has plans to sue federal, state and local prosecutors and investigators for 'extreme and outrageous conduct’ after they allegedly withheld evidence about her disappearance and death.
Barry Morphew, 53, was arrested in May of this year and charged with the murder of his wife, Suzanne, 49, who disappeared on Mother’s Day 2020. Her body has never been found.
Barry is represented by the Denver-based law firm Fisher & Byrialsen, P.L.L.C, which plans to file a civil case against 26 individuals associated with the Chaffee Police Department, 11th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, the Colorado Bureau of Investigations and the , according to documents acquired from the law firm.
The lawyers claim that investigators intentionally omitted evidence of DNA belonging to an alleged sex offender found in Suzanne Morphew’s bike, helmet, car and bedsheets.
They also claim evidence was left out about the dart rifle Barry allegedly used to incapacitate his wife – it was actually inoperable at the time of the murder, lawyers say.
Barry and Suzanne Morphew are pictured together. Barry is accused of murdering Suzanne who vanished Mother’s Day 2020
Barry’s defense filed a lawsuit against 26 individuals in the investigation and prosecution of the case, alleging they intentionally with held evidence found at the crime scene
The lawsuit claims investigators and prosecutors withheld evidence of DNA from an alleged sex offender found in Suzanne’s property. Pictured, FBI and CBI officials at the scene in 2020
In a 131-page letter about the upcoming suit, Barry’s attorney’s allege that DNA evidence found in Suzanne’s car and house matches 'the same profile as a single or multiple individuals across the country involved in sexual assault cases.’
According to the law firm, the Chafee County Deputy District Attorney Jeff Lindsey tracked the evidence to a man in Phoenix, Arizona, but officials failed to follow up after the man refused to cooperate and lawyered up.
The DNA evidence was not brought up during a preliminary hearing on the case and omitted from the affidavit for Barry arrest, the lawyers claimed.
The lawyers also called into question certain details left out from the tranquilizer rifle found at the scene.
Barry has been staying at a luxury Airbnb in nearby Maysville three weeks after posting $500,000 cash bond ahead of his murder trial
The Morphew family home is seen above. Morphew sold the home to new owners in March
Suzanne Morphew went missing in May 2020, and Barry had pleaded for her to come back home through video messages. He thought she could have been attacked by a mountain lion
Investigators had said that while Suzanne was messaging Jeff Libler, a man whom she had an affair with for two years, Barry allegedly shot Suzanne with a tranquilizer gun to knock her out.
Prosecutors claimed that the animal tranquilizer killed Suzanne and that Barry had covered his tracks by disposing of her body – possibly in the remote Garfield Mine.
Barry’s defense claims that when investigators found the dart rifle, it was inoperable and had not been used in a long time.
They ultimately allege that this key information was purposely omitted from the arrest affidavit.
Prosecutors and investigators have yet to respond to the lawsuit and its allegations.
Barry was arrested in May 2021 and later released in September on a $500,000 bond.
He has been staying at a $2,000 luxury Airbnb with the company of his girlfriend, Shoshona Darke, 51, as he awaits trial.
Prosecutors are demanding Morphew relocate to his girlfriend’s home in Salida that he allegedly pays for. The two-bedroom property is also closer to the Chaffee County Courthouse, where Morphew is due to go on trial in May, and allows for easier GPS tracking according to the prosecution motion
Prosecutors have complained that the Airbnb is much too close to the location of the alleged murder and that of witness and neighbor Jean Ritter, who Barry is banned from contacting.
It was Ritter, 73, who reported Suzanne, 49, missing on May 10, 2020 after being contacted by her daughters Mallory, 21, and Macy, 18, when they were unable to get hold of her to wish her a happy Mother’s Day.
Ritter also told cops she had shared a coffee with Suzanne on May 6 – three days before she was last seen alive – and that the mom-of-two had seemed cheerful.
After Suzanne vanished, Barry initially claimed his wife could have been taken by a mountain lion and issued a tearful video pleading for her to come home.
But in May, he was arrested and charged with her first degree murder and was told he would face trial following a four-day preliminary hearing.
During the hearing, it emerged that Suzanne had been having a two-year affair with married dad-of-six Libler while Barry had been caught visiting porn site Celebrity Jihad and notorious dating website Ashley Madison.
Prosecutors said the landscaper had murdered his wife using animal tranquilizer.
They also pointed to Morphew’s phone being placed in airplane mode repeatedly over the weekend of May 9 and 10 and cited data from his truck which showed he had repeatedly opened and closed the doors in the early hours of May 10.
The prosecution also noted that he had left a Holiday Inn hotel room in Broomfield, Colorado, reeking of chlorine – a development first reported by DailyMail.com in September 2020.