CHAFFEE COUNTY, Colo. — For the third day since charges were filed against Barry Morphew for allegedly killing his wife Suzanne, prosecutors outlined their investigation in court during a preliminary hearing.
Suzanne Morphew, 49, was reported missing over Mother’s Day weekend in 2020. During a press conference in May 2021, Chaffee County Sheriff John Spezze said that although no body has been recovered, his “belief is that Suzanne is not alive at this time.”
Morphew has a four-day preliminary hearing. A preliminary hearing is a legal process to challenge the state’s case for prosecution and is intended to protect people from unsupported criminal charges. The judge must find probable cause for the existing charges before moving forward with an arraignment and a trial.
Morphew will be in court on Monday morning at 8 a.m. Three witnesses have taken the stand including Commander Alex Walker (lead investigator) with Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office and former investigator with the 11th Judicial District Attorney Office, FBI Agent Kenneth Harris, and former FBI Agent Johnny Grusing. To catch up on the details revealed in court review FOX21’s previous stories:
Preliminary Hearing Day 2: “I’m done,” Texts between Suzanne and Barry Morphew reveal troubled marriage Preliminary Hearing Day 1: ‘Cannot live my life without you in it,’ messages reveal Suzanne Morphew had an affair before her disappearance
- Murder in the first degree
- 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
The door frame of the couples master bedroom on the first floor had damage. Undersheriff Andy Rohrich testified saying it appeared to be from forced entry from the outside. Investigators also found a .22 caliber unsent shell casing on Suzanne’s side of the bed.
Deputies were also told to look for three books that Suzanne kept together which were a bible, an Al-anon book, and a journal. Investigators never found the journal. Undersheriff Rohrich testified that pieces of bookbinding were discovered in the fireplace partially burned.
The undersheriff testified about photos taken of Morphew’s hands and upper left arm. He described the markings as fingernail injuries and other injuries in various stages of healing.
Colorado Bureau of Investigation Kevin Coback has been called as a new witness. He has been a field agent working in Pueblo, Colo. for seven years. He told the court that he does not have information as to whether or not the hotel room was swabbed for Suzanne’s DNA.
FOX21’s Lauren Scharf is in the courtroom providing to-the-minute updates. Follow along below.
FOX21’s Lauren Scharf will be live tweeting Tuesday’s hearing. You can follow her updates by clicking here.