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 ballot for Donald Trump in the name of his missing wife in October 2020
Barry Morphew has been sentenced to 32 hours of community service and a $600 fine after pleading guilty to casting a vote for Donald Trump in the 2020 election on behalf of his missing wife.
A haggard-looking Morphew, 53, appeared in court Thursday morning in Salida, Colorado, via a sentencing video link after he had already signed a plea deal with prosecutors.
As a result, the father of two was not given a jail term and instead was given a suspended sentence of one year’s probation and a fine.
The plea deal, obtained by DailyMail.com, shows he could have faced up to three years in prison and a $100,000 fine.
Despite the plea deal, Judge Patrick Murphy told the court, “I believe there should be some sort of punishment,” handing him 32 hours of community service that Morphew will perform in Denver, where he now lives.
Judge Murphy also refused to return Morphew’s shotguns, but said he would be given a bow.
Morphew, 53, was arrested on suspicion of murdering his wife Suzanne Morphew, 49, a year after she disappeared 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.
Morphew appeared in court on Thursday in Salida, Colorado via a video link, where he was sentenced to 32 hours of community service and a $600 fine after entering a plea deal.
His attorney Iris Aytan told the court that Morphew was forced to move to Denver because of the “suspicion surrounding him” in the small mountain town of Salida. He also has a new job as a landscape gardener.
The sentence will be reviewed on November 28 and Morphew faces up to six years in prison plus a two-year mandatory parole if he violates any of the terms of his probation.
Morphew’s final appearance in court comes just over three months after the murder charges against him were sensationally dropped, just as his trial was about to begin.
His wife Suzanne was 49 when she disappeared from their home in Salida on Mother’s Day in May 2020, triggering a massive search and rescue operation.
Morphew made 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 descended on the house just three days after she went missing.
He claimed he had a job as a landscape architect in Broomfield, Colorado, when his wife disappeared, but as DailyMail.com revealed in September 2020, colleagues were suspicious of his moves, saying he left his hotel room at Holiday Inn to appear.
He also left a trash can filled with shredded correspondence that was later handed over to the CBI.
Morphew was arrested last May before being released on bail and ordered to wear an ankle bracelet as a condition of his release
Morphew was flanked by his daughters as he arrived at his November trial in Salida ahead of his murder trial
Since his wife’s disappearance, Morphew has moved in with girlfriend Shoshana Darke. They will be shown together in October
Morphew began the legal process to transfer Suzanne’s assets and their joint properties to him shortly after she disappeared.
In November 2020, he cast a vote for Donald Trump in her name, claiming she would have done it anyway.
Investigators later said Morphew told them he was doing it “just because I wanted to vote for Trump to win.” I just thought, ‘Give him another vote.’
“I thought all those other guys were cheating. I thought she (Suzanne) would vote for Trump anyway.”
In May 2021, a year after Suzanne disappeared, Morphew was arrested and charged with her murder – despite police finding no body.
Suzanne disappeared without a trace on May 10, 2020 after she left her home for a Mother’s Day bike ride
A September 2020 hearing tore up Morphew’s description of his marriage to Suzanne as a happy and loving marriage, with investigators revealing she had a long-term affair with married father of six Jeff Libler.
Libler, who never spoke of Suzanne, was said to testify at Morphew’s trial and received Suzanne’s latest photo — a bikini selfie taken on May 9, 2020 in the yard of her $1.3 million home.
The court also heard how used tranquilizer cartridges were found in the laundry room of Morphew’s home, that Morphew had scratches on his arms in the days after Suzanne’s disappearance, and that she had complained to her family about his controlling behavior.
A series of text messages revealed how angrily Suzanne had spoken in conversations with friends about ending her marriage, calling Morphew “a Jekyll and Hyde character.”
Another message, sent to Morphew himself, read: ‘I’m ready. I don’t care what you plan and have been doing for years.”
His lawyers spent most of the hearings trying to make holes in the prosecution’s case — pointing to unknown male DNA found in the glove box of her car and suggesting a link to a sex offender arrested in Arizona.
Investigators have long suspected the Garfield mine near Salida as a possible site for Suzanne’s body, after Morphew admitted to detouring there around the time of her disappearance.
Suzanne and her husband had two grown daughters together. The mother disappeared on Mother’s Day last year
Morphew’s case was then scheduled for a full trial starting May 1, but it was dramatically halted a week before it was due to begin when prosecutors announced they would be throwing the case.
The move came after the judge presiding over the trial banned prosecutors from using a string of witnesses on grounds of discovery violations, while police said they were close to finding Suzanne’s remains and waiting for the snow to melt.
The case was then dropped without prejudice despite defense objections, meaning it can still be resubmitted if new evidence comes to light.
Suzanne Morphew’s body has still not been found, despite the pack of snow having melted.