CHAFFEE COUNTY — The Chaffee County Court released new details on how they will conduct the first preliminary hearings for Barry Morphew, who is accused of murdering his wife Suzanne.
Suzanne Morphew, 49, has been missing since May 10, 2020, from the Maysville area in Chaffee County after going out for a bike ride and never returning. It sparked several searches in the following months, including more than 135 search warrants executed by investigators.
Almost a year to the day following her disappearance, Barry Morphew was arrested and charged with first-degree murder after deliberation, tampering with physical evidence, and an attempt to influence a public servant, according to court documents.
His preliminary hearings will take place over four days on Aug. 9, Aug. 10, Aug. 23, and Aug. 24.
Approximately 24 people will be allowed inside the courtroom to observe the proceedings, seven of those seats will be reserved for the media.
The Court announced they will not live stream the hearings to the public via WebEx. In a court document, they say while they have live-streamed cases in the past, this case has high public interest, and they're worried about the number of users who will use their WebEx system. They also said doing so could interfere with the fairness of court proceedings.
However, the Chaffee County Court did announce that they will live-stream the proceedings into the main hall of the Chaffee County fairgrounds. There will be seating for approximately 40 or 50 additional people. They say the live stream will only be accessible to the viewing at the fairgrounds building and to family members of those involved in the case.
Over the last year, Suzanne's friends say day in and day out they searched for Suzanne tirelessly, hoping one day she would return.
"Just please tell us where she is at so we can get the closure that everyone wants," said Tisha Leewaye, Suzanne's friend.
Leewaye says Suzanne's husband, Barry, turned down invitations to search efforts and vigils they planned for his missing wife, and mother of two.
On May 17, a week after her disappearance, Barry Morphew posted a video on a Facebook page set up to share updates on the search for Suzanne, pleading for her safe return
Suzanne's friends say they plan to continue the search for Suzanne until she is found.