(CBS4) – Barry Morphew, charged with the murder of his wife Suzanne, who disappeared more than a year ago, appeared before a judge for the second time Thursday.
Morphew, now represented by Eytan Neilson, was handcuffed and quiet in the courtroom. Unlike his first appearance earlier this month, no family members were present in the courtroom. However, there were more than 1,000 people virtually attending the hearing, including family members of Suzanne Morphew.
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While Thursday’s hearing was a simple status conference – one thing was clear, the year-long investigation produced a tremendous amount of documents or discoveries – something Morphew’s defense team said they had received from prosecutors.
“Mr. Morphew has been in a prison cell, a cage, while this was going,” said lawyer Iris Eytan.
While prosecutors were within the reasonable time frame to deliver the discovery, the judge ordered the team to make it available to the defense by the end of the day on Wednesday. The discovery spanned more than 10,000 pages of police reports, search warrants and other material.
Judge Patrick Murphy was expected to rule on the still-sealed affidavit of arrest – but he chose to wait. He said the court will first decide whether a hearing is needed to make a decision.
“I can either schedule a hearing or make a decision based on the pleadings,” said Judge Murphy.
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Much of the status conference focused on ensuring the preservation of evidence, from biological evidence to text messaging and witness interviews.
At one point, Eytan informed the court that if the sheriff’s office did not have the funds to ensure that future witness interviews would be recorded, her office could provide a tape recorder.
“We could be out here in the sticks …” the judge began, implying that they could probably afford a tape recorder.
Due to an overloaded protocol, the court ruled that the next hearing for Morphew will be a preliminary hearing – combined with evidence that is obvious / guess big. The judge will decide if there is enough evidence to proceed with a trial.
The hearings are scheduled for four days: Monday 9-10 August. You will resume on August 23rd.
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