FREMONT COUNTY, Colo. — In the final minutes of a more than five-hour-long hearing on Thursday in Fremont County, attorneys for a Chaffee County man charged with killing his missing wife told the court they filed a motion to dismiss the case against Barry Morphew.
"We feel very strongly that the court should dismiss this case," said Hollis Whitson, one of Morphew's attorneys. "We really think that the court should take severe sanctions, including dismissal."
Whitson said prosecutors have mismanaged the case, including missing deadlines imposed by the judge. The lone attorney representing the prosecution in-person in court Thursday arrived at the courthouse more than 30 minutes late. Prosecutors have also not complied with deadlines imposed by the judge several months ago detailing witness lists that were due this month.
Judge Ramsey Lama, who took over the case in January, has not made a ruling on the motion. Lama said in his courtroom in Cañon City that there are pending arguments that need to be resolved before a ruling is made on this motion.
The motion has not been made available to the public.
Morphew was arrested and charged with 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.
Fremont County plans to send out 1,000 jury summons over the coming weeks with a jury selection process that will likely take several days. The next hearing is scheduled for March 4, where Morphew's defense team said they have already sent out subpoenas to seven people.
On Thursday, Morphew's lawyers told the court the subpoenas include the director of the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the deputy director of the CBI and the head of the major crimes unit for the CBI.
In the past months, the credibility of one of the CBI investigators in the case has come into question.
Former CBI agent Joseph Cahill resigned from the bureau 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 gun shot wound to the hand.
John 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, Camper's 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," Camper wrote in a Dec. 14, 2021 memo.
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 on April 28 of this year with jury selection and it's expected to last five weeks.
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