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Judge won't dismiss murder charge against husband of missing Indiana native

Barry Morphew is scheduled to appear in a Cañon City court later this month for a trial that could last up to five weeks.

SALIDA, Colo. — A Colorado judge has denied a motion to dismiss a murder charge against the husband of a former Indiana teacher who has been missing for nearly two years. 

Suzanne Morphew was last seen in May 2020, and authorities say she's presumed dead. Her husband, Barry, is charged with her murder, tampering with a deceased human body, tampering with physical evidence, possession of a dangerous weapon and attempt to influence a public official.

In a 20-page order issued Friday, Judge Ramsey Lama was critical of the prosecutor’s office for what he called a continuing pattern of discovery violations, according to our news partners at the Herald Bulletin.

Lama won't let experts testify about cellphone records or vehicle movement. However, they could still testify as experts during rebuttal. 

Earlier this month, Deputy District Attorney Grant Grosgebauer filed a motion asking Lama to reconsider. Lama struck the expert witnesses in part because the prosecution turned in some of their information a day late.

In the Friday ruling, Lama also noted investigators were aware there was a DNA match that didn't belong to Barry on some of the evidence. 

Suzanne, a 49-year-old mother of two who grew up in Madison County, was reported missing on Mother's Day after she didn't return from a bike ride near her home in the Salida area.

Credit: Chafee County Sheriff's Office
Suzanne Morphew has been missing since Mother's Day.

Lama said the DNA match not belonging to Barry was found on Suzanne's bike helmet and bike seat, plus the glove box and rear seat of her car. 

The DNA was a partial match with DNA found in three unsolved sexual assault investigations in Chicago, Phoenix and Tempe, Arizona. 

This information was not provided to the court at the time Barry Morphew was arrested, and Lama agreed with Barry's attorneys that this information should have been provided. He added that the fact that it was withheld is a violation.

RELATED: Judge: Husband of missing Indiana native will go to trial for her murder

RELATED: Husband arrested on first-degree murder charge in disappearance of former Indiana teacher

Barry is scheduled to appear in a Cañon City court later this month for a trial that could last up to five weeks.

The prosecution plans to call Suzanne's family, close friends and neighbors to testify, as well as some of Barry's employees. In total, the prosecution is expected to call 173 witnesses, but that number could change. It’s unknown how many witnesses the defense will call. 

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