Prosecutors Drop Charges Days Before Murder Trial

Colorado man Barry Morphew was accused of killing wife Suzanne in 2020
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 10, 2021 12:30 PM CDT
Updated Apr 19, 2022 7:34 PM CDT
He Allegedly Suspected Wife's Affair Before She Vanished
Barry Morphew was charged with first-degree murder and other crimes in the death of his wife, Suzanne Morphew.   (Chaffee County Sheriff's Office via AP, File)

Update: Prosecutors in Colorado have dropped all charges against Barry Morphew just nine days before he was due to stand trial. Morphew was charged with murder and other crimes last year, almost a year after his wife Suzanne disappeared. District Attorney Linda Stanley moved to drop the charges weeks after a judge blocked prosecutors from using key witnesses as punishment for violating rules on turning over evidence that could help Morphew's case, the Denver Post reports. The move leaves the door open to bringing new charges against Morphew later, and prosecutors say investigators believe they are close to finding Suzanne Morphew's body, reports the AP. Our story from Aug. 9, 2021 follows:

Barry Morphew told investigators he'd spent a perfect night with his wife before she seemingly vanished on a bike ride in 2020. But according to Suzanne Morphew's best friend, the Colorado couple hadn't had a perfect night in well over a year. Indeed, Suzanne had been having an affair for nearly two years, as revealed by her own voice-activated spy pen, according to testimony heard Monday in Barry Morphew's murder case. Suzanne never told anyone about her relationship with Jeff Libler, a married high school friend, and her husband denied knowing of the affair. But he had suspicions, FBI special agent Kenneth Harris testified, per the Denver Post. Suzanne had her own suspicions about Barry's faithfulness, hence the spy pen, per the AP. Suzanne's best friend claimed she'd spoken of divorce and felt unsafe alone with her husband.

That's exactly where she found herself on May 9 and 10, when prosecutors allege Barry killed his wife. Investigators have not found Suzanne's body or cellphone—or any blood. But they did find Suzanne's mountain bike at the bottom of a ditch on the day she was reported missing, and they later found her undamaged helmet at a different spot, per KDVR. Though Morphew claimed to have left his wife asleep at home around 5am on May 10, an arrest affidavit claims he moved to get rid of evidence around that time, per KDVR. Two months earlier, Suzanne had texted a friend, saying her husband "won't speak of divorce" and is "begging for another chance," per the Post. She'd also described a 2018 incident in which he pushed her into a closet and put a gun to his head. (Morphew is accused of voting in 2020 on behalf of his wife.)

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