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Arrest of murder suspect Barry Morphew was 'worst' decision, former co-lead investigator allegedly said

The Colorado man's wife, Suzanne Morphew, has been missing since May, 2020.

A former state police investigator, who helped lead a probe into the disappearance of a Colorado mother, opposed arresting the woman's husband, defense lawyers said in court documents during a motion to dismiss charges that were released Tuesday.

Attorneys for murder suspect Barry Morphew want charges dropped against their client, who is accused of killing his wife and mother of their two daughters, Suzanne Morphew, who hasn't been seen since around Mother's Day in May 2020.

Former Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Agent Joseph Cahill, once a co-lead investigator in this case, told supervisors there wasn't enough evidence to arrest Morphew, defense lawyer Iris Eytan wrote in a motion to dismiss charges.

Cahill was interviewed by internal affairs investigators on another matter this past Dec. 21 when he made this admission.

"In that interview Cahill stated he told many law enforcement witnesses in this case that arresting Mr. Morphew was premature, and the 'worst' decision that could be made," Eytan wrote.

"He also stated the case was not remotely ready for anybody to move the case forward."

Barry Morphew, center, appears in court in Salida, Colo., on May 6, 2021.
Barry Morphew, center, appears in court in Salida, Colo., on May 6, 2021.KUSA via AP file

Cahill allegedly voiced his concerns to supervisors and Chaffee County Sheriff John Spezze, before Morphew was taken into custody.

“Mr. Cahill stated that Sheriff Spezze did not heed CBI’s advice or opinions and moved forward with Mr. Morphew’s arrest,” according to Eytan. “Mr. Cahill summed up by saying, it ‘is what it is.’ "

District Attorney Linda Stanley defended the prosecution and called Cahill "thoroughly discredited," saying he had simply "opined on the timing of arresting the defendant in this case."

"The defense contends that if they had known about this opinion, they could have cross examined the agent and the case would not have been bound over for trial. This is utter nonsense," Stanley wrote.

"At no time did Mr. Cahill say that he did not think there was probable cause to arrest or that he thought the defendant was not guilty of murdering his wife."

Cahill resigned from the agency in December, in the midst internal affairs investigators looking into an "accidental discharge of a firearm" at his home, prosecutors said.

Morphew has been charged with first-degree murder, tampering with a deceased human body, tampering with physical evidence, possession of a dangerous weapon and attempted influence of a public servant.

His trial is now set to begin on April 28.

Prosecutors believe Barry Morphew shot his wife with a tranquilizer gun before disposing of her body.