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Judge dismisses murder charges against Barry Morphew in wife Suzanne's disappearance

The Suzanne Morphew Case: Nothing Is What It Seems
The Suzanne Morphew Case: Nothing Is What It Seems 41:44

The case against Barry Morphew, a Colorado man accused of killing his wife, was dismissed by a judge on Tuesday, less than 10 days before the trial was set to begin. Suzanne Morphew disappeared after leaving her home for a bike ride on Mother's Day 2020, and her body was never found.

District Attorney Linda Stanley filed a motion on Tuesday to dismiss the charges without prejudice, meaning prosecutors will be able to refile charges against Barry Morphew at a later date, CBS Denver reports

Prosecutors had previously accused Barry Morphew of shooting his wife with a tranquilizer dart before killing her. He was arrested on May 5, 2021, and charged with murder after deliberation, tampering with physical evidence and attempting to influence a public servant. He pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Suzanne Morphew
Suzanne Morphew Suzanne Morphew/Facebook

As "48 Hours" reported, prosecutors had a mountain of evidence to sift through in the case.

Investigators noticed Barry's cell phone appeared to be pinging all around his house on Mother's Day weekend 2020, which he said was because he was chasing and shooting at chipmunks. Investigators also found a plastic cap for a syringe, which they believed was used to load a tranquilizer dart, in the couple's dryer. Barry allegedly told investigators he didn't know how the cap got there, but admitted he was an experienced tranquilizer dart gun shooter. The cap, however, had Suzanne DNA on it, not Barry's, according to investigators. 

Investigators also found a "spy pen" device that could capture and record conversations. The pen captured several intimate conversations between Suzanne Morphew and an alleged lover named Jeff Libler. Investigators also uncovered DNA on the glovebox of Suzanne's Range Rover which traced back to an unknown male allegedly connected to three sexual assaults.

Barry Morphew and Jeff Libler were excluded from that DNA sample. 

Husband of missing Colorado woman charged with murder 00:28

"This DNA discovery is so significant," Aya Gruber, a law professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder, told "48 Hours." "All of a sudden, the seemingly implausible becomes more possible."

"This case is incredibly unique," Gruber said. "When you started to dig a little bit deeper, nothing is what it seems."

However, the judge in the case had barred prosecutors in the case from calling a dozen expert witnesses, including a K9 handler who helped in the search for Suzanne and an expert on tranquilizer darts, as a penalty for violating discovery rules during the pretrial phase.

Search underway for missing Colorado mom 02:50

An attorney for Barry Morphew argued that the case should've been dismissed with prejudice, meaning the prosecution would be unable to charge him at a later date, according to the Denver Post.

Andrew Moorman, Suzanne Morphew's brother, told CBS Denver that he supports the motion to dismiss. 

"I'm OK with what happened today," Moorman said. "I'm all about finding Suzanne. I just want closure for my family."

Paul LaRosa contributed reporting.

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