Barry Morphew pleads guilty to voting for Trump in missing wife’s name; given community service
Barry Morphew (pictured in his booking photo last May) pleaded guilty Thursday to casting a mail-in ballot for Donald Trump in his missing wife’s name in October 2020
Barry Morphew has been handed 32 hours community service and a $600 fine after pleading guilty to casting a vote for Donald Trump in the 2020 election in his missing wife’s name.
A haggard-looking Morphew, 53, appeared in court in Salida, Colorado, via video link on Thursday morning for sentencing having already agreed a plea deal with prosecutors.
As a result, the dad-of-two got no prison time and was given a deferred sentence of one year on probation and a fine instead.
The plea agreement, obtained by DailyMail.com, shows he could have been handed up to three years in jail and a $100,000 fine.
Despite the plea deal, Judge Patrick Murphy told court: ‘I believe there should be some sort of punishment’ and handed him 32 hours of community service which Morphew will carry out in Denver where he now lives.
Judge Murphy also refused to return Morphew’s hunting rifles but did say he would be allowed a bow.
Morphew, 53, was arrested on suspicion of murdering his wife Suzanne Morphew, 49, a year after she vanished in Colorado in May 2020
The father-of-two had pleaded not guilty to murder before the charges were sensationally dropped nine days before his trial was set to begin on April 28. He is pictured leaving court with daughters Macy and Mallory after the charges were dismissed on April 19
Morphew appeared in court in Salida, Colorado via video link Thursday where he was sentenced to 32 hours community service and order to pay a $600 fine after taking a plea deal
His attorney Iris Aytan told the court Morphew had been forced to relocate to Denver due to the ‘suspicion that surrounds him’ in the small mountain town of Salida. He also has a new job as a landscaper.
The sentence will be reviewed on November 28 and Morphew faces up to six years in jail plus a mandatory two-year parole should he violate any of the terms of his probation.
Morphew’s latest court appearance comes a little more than three months after murder charges against him were sensationally dropped just as his trial was about to begin.
His wife Suzanne was 49 when she vanished on Mother’s Day in May 2020 from their Salida home, sparking a huge search and rescue effort.
Morphew issued a series of tearful pleas for her return but soon became embroiled in the police investigation, with DailyMail.com reporting that Colorado Bureau of Investigation officials had descended on the home just three days after she went missing.
He had claimed to be on a landscaping job in Broomfield, Colorado, when his wife vanished but as DailyMail.com revealed in September 2020, co-workers were suspicious of his movements and said he had left his Holiday Inn hotel room stinking of bleach.
He also left a trash can filled with shredded correspondence that was later turned over to the CBI.
Morphew was arrested last May before being released on bond and ordered to wear an ankle monitor as a condition of his release
Morphew was flanked by his daughters as he arrived at his court hearing in Salida in November ahead of his murder trial
Since his wife’s disappearance, Morphew has moved in with girlfriend Shoshana Darke. They are shown together in October
Morphew began the legal process of having Suzanne’s assets and their joint property transferred to him shortly after she vanished.
In November 2020, he cast a vote for Donald Trump in her name claiming she would have done it anyway.
Investigators later said Morphew had told them he did it ‘just because I wanted to vote for Trump to win. I just thought, ‘Give him another vote.’
‘I figured all these other guys were cheating. I figured she (Suzanne) was going to vote for Trump anyway.’
In May 2021, a year after Suzanne disappeared, Morphew was arrested and charged with her murder – despite police not having found a body.
Suzanne vanished without a trace on May 10, 2020 after setting off from her home on a Mother’s Day bike ride
A hearing in September 2020 shredded Morphew’s description of his marriage to Suzanne as being a happy and loving one, with investigators revealing she had been having a long-running affair with married dad-of-six Jeff Libler.
Libler, who has never spoken about Suzanne, was due to testify at Morphew’s trial and received Suzanne’s final photo – a bikini selfie taken on May 9, 2020 in the garden of her $1.3m home.
The court also heard how spent tranquilizer cartridges were found inside the laundry room at the Morphew home, that Morphew had scratches on his arms in the days after Suzanne’s disappearance and that she had complained of his controlling behavior to her family.
A series of text messages revealed how anguished Suzanne had discussed ending her marriage in conversations with friends and called Morphew ‘a Jekyll and Hyde character’.
Another message, sent to Morphew himself, read: ‘I’m done. I could care less what you’re up to and have been for years.’
His defense attorneys spent most of the hearings attempting to pick holes in the prosecution case – pointing to unknown male DNA discovered in the glove box of her car and suggesting a link to a sex offender arrested in Arizona.
Investigators have long suspected the area of the Garfield Mine near Salida as a possible location for Suzanne’s body, after Morphew admitted taking a detour there around the time of her disappearance
Suzanne and her husband had two adult daughters together. The mother vanished on Mother’s Day last year
Morphew’s case was then scheduled for a full trial beginning May 1 but it was dramatically halted a week before it was due to start when prosecutors announced they were tossing the case.
The move came after the judge due to preside over the trial banned the prosecution from using a series of witnesses on the grounds of discovery violations, while police said they were close to finding Suzanne’s remains and were waiting for the snow to melt.
The case was then dismissed without prejudice, despite objections from the defense, which means it could still be re-filed should new evidence come to light.
Suzanne Morphew’s body has still not been found despite the snow pack having melted.