FREMONT COUNTY, Colo. — One of the two lead investigators looking into the Suzanne Morphew murder case in Chaffee County told “many law enforcement witnesses in this case that arresting Mr. Morphew was premature and the 'worst' decision that could be made," per a motion to dismiss the case filed by Barry Morphew's lawyers.
According to the court documents obtained by 9NEWS, Mophew’s defense attorneys write that former Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Agent Joseph Cahill “stated the case was not remotely ready for anybody to move the case forward.”
The comments were reportedly made during a Dec. 2, 2021, Internal Affairs interview conducted by CBI after Cahill accidentally fired his weapon and struck his own hand while at home and off duty.
The Feb. 9 motion to dismiss the murder case against Morphew was unsealed Tuesday. In it, Morphew’s defense attorney’s say prosecutors withheld “exculpatory evidence” from the court during the preliminary hearing.
The defense attorneys, Iris Eytan and Hollis Whitson, argue in the motion that “had the withheld information been available at the Preliminary Hearing, it is certain that probable cause would not have been found.”
The motion asks Judge Ramsey Lama to dismiss the case for “outrageous governmental conduct.”
District Attorney Linda Stanley filed a response Feb. 23, also made public Tuesday, that calls the defense motion "utter nonsense."
Stanley responded to the "draconian" motion to dismiss "for what amounts to disagreements among law enforcement in timing." She writes that the prosecution committed no discovery violation in regards to Cahill's statements.
"At no time did Mr. Cahill say that he did not think there was probable cause to arrest or that he thought the defendant was not guilty of murdering his wife," Stanley writes.
Morphew was arrested on suspicion of murder, among other charges, in May 2021, a year after his wife Suzanne disappeared from her Chaffee County home. Suzanne's body is still missing, nearly two years after investigators started looking for her.
Below: Raw body camera footage shows the first moments after Suzanne Morphew was reported missing:
Morphew’s defense team has subpoenaed the director of the CBI, the deputy director of the CBI and the head of the major crimes unit for the CBI to appear in court this Friday during a motions hearing.
The defense’s motion also says that two of Cahill’s former supervisors, CBI Deputy Director Chris Schaefer and Agent Kemper, spoke with Chaffee County Sheriff John Spezze about the concerns expressed to them by Cahill and the other agent investigating the case, Agent Derek Graham.
“Mr. Cahill stated that Sheriff Spezze did not heed CBI’s advice or opinions and moved forward with Mr. Morphew’s arrest. Mr. Cahill summed up by saying it ‘is what it is,’ ” the defense writes in the motion.
In the past months, Cahill’s credibility in the case has come into question.
Cahill resigned from CBI in December amid an internal affairs investigation into the accidental discharge of a gun while he was off-duty at his home. Cahill sustained a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the hand.
Camper, the director of the CBI, called Cahill's actions "careless or imprudent," resulting in the accidental discharge, according to documents obtained by 9Wants to Know.
In addition, CBI’s Internal Affairs memorandum states that Cahill lied to investigators looking into what happened.
"I find that he was intentionally misleading in his statements. I am actually more troubled by the lengths he went to in order to support the falsehood," the internal affairs document written on Dec. 14, 2021, states.
The CBI Internal Affairs investigation found that Cahill was attempting to remove a gun-light that he owned from his CBI issued weapon because he said he was planning to resign from the CBI that day.
Cahill bought a new gun-light to attempt to cover his lie when he was interviewed by another CBI agent.
Before admitting to the truth, "Cahill initially lied on four occasions upon being specifically asked when he purchased the new gun-light before correction," the report obtained by 9Wants to Know states.
Morphew's trial is set to begin April 28 of this year with jury selection and it's expected to last five weeks.
Below: "Dateline NBC" profiles the disappearance of Suzanne Morphew:
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