CHAFFEE COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) — One of the agents investigating Suzanne Morphew’s death in 2020 said arresting Barry Morphew was “premature.”
The information comes from new documents that were released Tuesday related to the case, in which Barry Morphew is charged with murder.
Attorneys for Morphew are asking that the case be dismissed because they say prosecutors intentionally withheld massive amounts of evidence prior to the preliminary hearing and probable cause would not have been found.
The newly released documents also contained details of an internal affairs investigation into Colorado Bureau of Investigation Agent Joseph Cahill, one of the lead investigators in the Morphew case.
Suzanne Morphew was originally from Alexandria, Indiana, but moved to Salida, Colorado several years ago. She was reported missing on May 10, 2020.
During an interview, Cahill told the internal affairs investigator that, “arresting Mr. Morphew was premature, and the worst decision that could be made,” according to the newly released documents.
Cahill also told the internal affairs investigator that after putting the case together for a year, he saw an “erosion of framework” while he was at school and off the case from March through May of 2021.
The report said that on Aug. 24, 2021, during the preliminary hearing testimony, Cahill claimed he only read nine pages of the Morphew arrest affidavit. At the time, internal affairs requested revisions to the affidavit, documents showed. However, internal affairs claimed that multiple requests were made to Cahill for revisions to the affidavit between Aug. 24, 2021 to Jan. 25, 2022.
District attorneys on the Morphew case complained to CBI administration about Cahill’s testimony during the August 2021 hearing. Cahill said he received a phone call from the defense attorney the night before his testimony asking him to appear in court.
Cahill said he showed up to the hearing unprepared and, according to the recently released documents, had almost no communication with the sheriff’s office or the district attorney’s office before the hearing.
Cahill said the complaint specifically asked that he no longer work on the Morphew case.
The week after the complaint was filed Cahill was transferred to the CBI’s marijuana unit.
In a rebuttal to the filing, the prosecution characterized the call for the dismissal of the case and trial as “utter nonsense,” saying Cahill has been “thoroughly discredited.”
Prosecutors contend they have produced tens of thousands of pages of discovery and hours of video recordings, and says the defense has “stopped trying to confer with the People as their last request for discovery was made directly to the Court.”
Morphew was arrested in May of 2021 and formally charged with first-degree murder, tampering with evidence and attempting to influence the public following the disappearance of Suzanne, his wife, on Mother’s Day 2020.
The trial is scheduled to begin in May.