CHAFFEE COUNTY, Colo. — The district attorney who filed murder charges against Barry Morphew in connection with his missing wife in Chafee County now faces an investigation of herself.
9NEWS learned Monday that the Colorado Supreme Court's Attorney Regulation Counsel (ARC) is investigating 11th Judicial District Attorney Linda Stanley and has started interviewing potential witnesses, including Morphew’s attorney.
In a statement, the Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel told 9NEWS, "I can confirm that our office is investigating Linda Stanley based on allegations that have become publicly known."
Back on May 5, 2021, Stanley stood in front of the Chafee County courthouse and confidently announced that Barry Morphew had been arrested and charged with murder in connection with his wife Suzanne’s disappearance.
"I wouldn’t bring charges unless I was confident," Stanley said at the time.
Less than a year later, Stanley dropped the charges against Morphew just days before the case was set to go to trial. In the months leading up to the scheduled trial, Stanley and her team of prosecutors were admonished by the judge in the case for missing court-imposed deadlines and being late to hearings. Stanley was reprimanded for appearing on a podcast talking about the active case. Morphew's defense attorneys alleged Stanley withheld evidence from them and committed prosecutorial misconduct on several occasions.
"I have never seen the egregious misconduct that has surfaced in this case, including getting on murder podcasts and telling witnesses what they wanted them to say," said Iris Eytan, Morphew's defense attorney. "My belief is that the prosecutors involved in the prosecution of the Morphew case should not be able to have a law license."
Eytan has spoken out against Stanley for months, arguing that her client was wrongly charged. She said the ARC interviewed her on Friday in connection with the investigation into Stanley. Eytan said she did not file the complaint that is currently being investigated but plans to file a separate one.
"I have been interviewed by the Office of Attorney Regulation Council as a witness regarding a complaint that was made against Linda Stanley, and I don’t know who else, regarding the Morphew prosecution," said Eytan.
The ARC helps the state's Supreme Court "regulate the practice of law in Colorado" and oversees attorney discipline across the state. The office does not elaborate on the parameters or details of active investigations.
While we don’t know what the investigation centers around, Eytan said she provided information about the Morphew case in particular.
"I provided them with documents and videos, transcripts, that backed up my belief that the prosecution team committed significant ethical misconduct," Eytan said.
Stanley told 9NEWS through an email Monday night she did not think the investigation into her conduct was public.
"It was my understanding that the ARC investigation into any possible rule violations is not public information due to the fact that no one is assumed to have violated any rules. I would appreciate the same consideration but happy to discuss it when the investigation is complete," Stanley wrote.
Stanley dropped charges against Morphew last April, arguing investigators believed they were close to finding Suzanne Morphew’s missing body under several feet of snow in the mountains near the Morphew home. Six months later, the body has not been found and prosecutors admitted they were wrong in court last week.
"Law enforcement has been searching diligently for Mrs. Morphew. We thought back in May that we were close. That it was going to be soon that we were going to find Suzanne Morphew. Obviously, we were wrong," Mark Hurlbert, a prosecutor on Stanley's team, told the court during a motion hearing.
Stanley told 9NEWS she stands by her decision to drop the charges in April, telling the court and the public that she believed investigators would soon find Suzanne.
"We don’t believe we were wrong to dismiss it at that time given the information we had," Stanley wrote in an email to 9NEWS.
Prosecutors said in court last week that law enforcement is still actively looking for Suzanne Morphew, two and a half years after she disappeared. They didn’t provide any details about how or where they are searching.
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