SALIDA — The high-profile case of Barry Morphew, a man accused of first-degree murder and other crimes related to his wife Suzanne’s disappearance, continues.
The discovery and sanctions hearings took place at the 11th District Court at 142 Crestone Ave. in Salida.
The hearings were be presided over by District Judge Patrick Murphy. The last hearing for this case was on Nov. 9 when the defense made claims of “discovery violations” against the prosecution.
Discovery violations occur when the prosecution has failed to give police reports, whether they’re good or bad for the defense, to the defense. I gathered more insight from a local attorney on what keeping key evidence could mean for this case.
“The prosecution has an obligation under the law to give all the reports and all the information that law enforcement has in their possession to the defense. And if they don’t do that, they’re in violation of discovery laws,” said Attorney Jeremy Loew.
There was also a motion filed to remove the judge from the case. Morphew's defense attorney argues that Judge Murphy can not be impartial due to a "bias" or "prejudice" he has in regards to the attorneys of a woman who may be a witness in the trial.
The woman was accused of trespassing when she allegedly went to the front porch of Mr. Morphew’s previous home, and one of Mr. Morphew’s neighbors to retrieve a package that UPS or FedEx had misdelivered to the wrong address.
The prosecution conducted the hearing without former lead prosecutor Jeff Lindsey.
Lindsey left the jurisdiction, which took him off the case.
“That’s really going to impact the ability to continue with the prosecution of this case because he has so much experience in prosecuting homicides. So, without him, they’ve lost just an invaluable experience on prosecution,” said Loew.