FREMONT COUNTY, Colo — The judge who would have presided over Barry Morphew's murder trial has resigned from the 11th Judicial District, citing health reasons.
In his resignation letter, dated April 26 and addressed to Colorado Chief Supreme Court Justice Brian Boatright, District Judge Ramsey Lama wrote: "After about six years on the district court bench, it is time for me to move on."
Lama's last day on the bench will be July 25.
Morphew, 54, walked out of the Fremont County Courthouse a free man April 19 after Lama dismissed the case without prejudice. Morphew was arrested May 5, 2021, but was released from jail on $500,000 bail in September.
When a case is dismissed "without prejudice," the process grinds to a halt but the case can be refiled.
If the prosecution decides to refile the case, it will go to the judge who is next in the rotation, said Jon Sarche, a spokesman for the State Court Administrator's Office. Still to be determined is whether a second attempt at trial would be held in Chaffee County where it was originally filed or in Fremont County where it was moved after Lama was appointed to preside over the case when Judge Patrick Murphy recused himself in early January.
Suzanne Morphew was last seen on Mother's Day 2020. Her body has never been found.
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