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Barry Morphew, who had been charged in death of wife Suzanne Morphew, pleads guilty to casting her ballot for Trump

The Suzanne Morphew Case: Nothing Is What It Seems
The Suzanne Morphew Case: Nothing Is What It Seems 43:32

A Colorado man who had been charged in the presumed death of his missing wife has pleaded guilty to forgery for casting her 2020 election ballot for then-President Donald Trump.

Barry Morphew pleaded guilty Thursday and was fined and assessed court costs of $600, The Denver Post reported. He avoids jail time as part of a plea agreement.

Suzanne Morphew was reported missing on Mother's Day in 2020 after she did not return from a bike ride near her home in the Salida area in southern Colorado. Barry Morphew, who pleaded for help finding his wife, was arrested and charged with first-degree murder and other crimes in 2021, but prosecutors dropped the charges in April.

That decision followed the judge's move to bar prosecutors from presenting most of their key witnesses during Morphew's scheduled trial because they repeatedly failed to follow rules for turning over evidence in his favor. The evidence included DNA from an unknown male linked to sexual assault cases in other states, which was found in Suzanne Morphew's SUV and raised the possibility of another suspect being involved.

Suzanne Morphew's body has not been found.

Barry and Susanne Morphew
Barry and Suzanne Morphew Facebook

In the voter fraud case, investigators said Barry Morphew filled out his missing wife's ballot because he thought Trump could use the extra vote. Trump lost Colorado to President Joe Biden by 14 percentage points.

"Just because I wanted Trump to win. I just thought, give him another vote. I figured all these other guys are cheating," he told an FBI agent who confronted him about the ballot in April 2021, according to court documents.

Trump has made repeated claims about fraud and "rigged" election results, but experts say there has been no evidence found of widespread fraud that would have changed the election's outcome.

Morphew also told the agent he didn't know it was illegal to fill out a ballot on behalf of a spouse.

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

Investigators 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. 

"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."

Graham Kates contributed to this report.

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