CHAFFEE COUNTY, Colo. — For the first time since their father, Barry Morphew, was arrested for the disappearance and murder of their mother, Suzanne, the couples’ two daughters addressed the court.
“It would be really such a blessing for our dad to be able to be with us,” Mallory Morphew said in a Chaffee County courtroom on Tuesday. “Because of our work schedule and driving over the pass in the winter.”
The Morphew girls live in Gunnison and, per the terms of their father’s bond, he’s had to stay within the bounds of Chaffee County.
Judge Ramsey Lama agreed to that request, modifying the bond to allow Morphew to travel to Gunnison – during daylight hours only. His attorney noted Morphew is being tracked by a GPS monitoring system – and that there have been no issues with that system thus far.
However, the judge’s decision was not uncontested. Suzanne Morphew’s family wrote a letter to the judge stating they do not agree with a bond modification.
Morphew was arrested on May 5, 2021, and has been charged with first-degree murder after his wife, Suzanne, disappeared on Mother’s Day Weekend of the year prior. Her body has not been recovered and, in 2021, Chaffee County Sheriff John Spezze said his “belief is that Suzanne is not alive.”
He also faces the following charges in connection to the case:
- Tampering with a deceased human body
- Tampering with physical evidence
- Possession of a dangerous weapon – short rifle
- Attempt to influence a public servant
- Forgery of Public Records
- Misdemeanor Elections-mail ballot offense
Morphew has consistently maintained his innocence in the months following Suzanne’s disappearance and, it seems, he’s also maintained the support of his children. Both girls have attended most court hearings, at times seen mouthing the words “I love you,” and making heart signs with their hands.
“It would be really amazing for us. It has been a hard and confusing time,” Mallory Morphew said Tuesday. “Grief and sadness. We are a family and we need each other. It would be a blessing for us to be a family and be together in the town over.”
“Thank you!” Barry Morphew cried when he heard the judge’s decision to allow him to travel to see his daughters. A deputy walked tissues over to the Morphew girls, who were also in tears.
Another notable development during Tuesday’s hearing focused in on Chaffee County District Attorney Linda Stanley.
Judge Lama ruled that the 11th Judicial Attorneys Office violated the pre-trial publicity order by appearing on podcasts, YouTube, and making statements to the media. However, no sanctions were made.
He also ruled that body-worn camera footage and audio of interviews played during the preliminary hearing will be made public. FOX21 News has put in a request for this evidence.
Morphew’s defense team said it does not want the trial to be held in Chaffee County and has filed a motion for a change of venue. They say too many people in Salida and Chaffee County are familiar with the case, making it difficult to find an impartial jury. However, the prosecution says the murder case should be held in the county where the alleged crime was committed.
The judge will likely make a ruling on that at the next hearing, scheduled for Febuary 1.