A Colorado judge ruled last week that the lengthy arrest affidavit for Barry Morphew, who is accused of murdering his wife Suzanne, will be sealed, according to a freedom of information group in Centennial State.
The decision comes after several news outlets requested to be able to view the 130-page document.
The media consortium includes the Associated Press, Denver Post, Fox affiliates KDVR-TV and KXRM-TV, as well as half a dozen other outlets, wrote Jeffrey Roberts, executive director of the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition, on its organization. Website Wednesday.
Barry Morphew’s New Defense Team Engulfs Prosecutors in Pre-Trial Murder Hearing
“The media consortium questions the legality of denying public access based on the length and details contained in the entire affidavit and this information cannot be modified,” District Court Judge Patrick W. Murphy wrote in an order. Published on the CFOIC site. “However, it was not merely the details and length of the affidavit that resulted in the Court’s decision to restrict public access.”
Murphy made it clear that he wanted to give both prosecutors and defense teams more time to provide input on what to do before allowing the release of the affidavit — especially since Morpheus has daughters.
Media counsel and CFOIC President Steve Zansberg argued that the media and the public have a “presumed right” to see the affidavit.
Arrest affidavits typically contain much more detail than investigators’ statements to the media, providing insight into possible motives, the specifics of the crime, and the timeline of events. These include direct descriptions of detectives, statements of witnesses and other important information – sometimes even photographic evidence.
Colorado officials charge new charges against Barry Morphew in wife’s disappearance, suspicious death
Although Morphew’s affidavit remains secret, District Attorney Linda Stanley said in May that her office and investigators felt they had gathered enough to accuse her of multiple crimes.
Susan Morpheu was reported missing on May 10, 2020 – Mother’s Day – after she was believed to have gone out for a bike ride. Chaffee County prosecutors said they believe he was killed that day or the day before. Police found his bicycle on a trail near his home in Salida, Colo.
On May 19, Chaffee County prosecutors added two counts of tampering with a dead human body and possession of a dangerous weapon to their list of previous charges: first-degree murder after deliberation, tampering with physical evidence and a public offense. Attempt to impress the servant.
The only information provided about the pair of new allegations was outlined in a revised complaint issued on May 19. With regard to the weapon allegation, court papers alleged that Morphew had a short rifle “between and including May 9, 2020 and March 4, 2021”.
As an allegation of tampering with a dead human body, Morpheu defined “destroying, mutilating, concealing, removing, or altering the human body, part of the human body, or human remains with the intention of impairing its appearance or availability.” “,” the court paper states. Morpheu did so between May 9, 2020 and May 10, 2020, “assuming that an official proceeding was pending, in progress, or about to be instituted, and was acting without legal authority or authority,” stated in the document.
Morpheu is scheduled to return to court for a virtual hearing on Thursday at 1 p.m. local time.
LBL’ Stephanie Pagones contributed to this report.