DENVER (KDVR) — Nearly a year after charges were dismissed against Barry Morphew, who was accused of killing his wife Suzanne, his attorneys are filing a complaint against the district attorney and prosecutors involved in the case.
Suzanne Morphew first went missing on Mother’s Day of 2020. Her body still hasn’t been found.
Attorney Regulation Counsel investigating complaint
In an 83-page complaint to the Colorado Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel, Morphew’s attorney, Iris Eytan, laid out 12 specific complaints against 11th Judicial District Attorney Linda Stanley and six other prosecutors involved in the case.
The allegations of misconduct range from unethical practices and continued pattern of discovery violations to failure to respond to security concerns for court personnel and violations of the Victims Rights Act.
“He was held for five months in a cage based on information that wasn’t true,” Eytan said during a news conference. “She has a license to practice law more powerful than most other individuals in the country, she should have to answer for that. So yes, I don’t believe she should have a right to prosecute other human beings.”
Eytan also claimed the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Colorado Bureau of Investigation worked with Stanley’s office to conceal evidence, specifically DNA evidence found in Suzanne’s car that didn’t match Barry Morphews. Eytan said that evidence was hidden from the court.
Jessica Yates, the executive director for the counsel, confirmed with FOX31 her office did receive the complaint and will investigate it.
A history of penalties at the 11th Judicial DA’s Office
This isn’t the first time Stanley or her office has faced criticism for the way they do business. In 2019, Stanley was censured for failure to keep a client reasonably informed and other issues when she was in private practice.
Two weeks ago, District Court Judge Kaitlin Turner levied sanctions against the DA’s office for failure to provide discovery to the defense team in a murder case. The judge provided 20 other instances, including Morphew’s case, where the DA’s office repeatedly missed the 21-day deadline after the initial appearance to provide discovery to the defense.
“You have to do your job. You simply have to do it. And there is a pattern of this office not doing it,” the judge said in that case.
The sanction reduced a 1st-degree murder charge to 2nd-degree murder in that case.
Suzanne Morphew’s body still missing
When filing a motion to dismiss the charges against Morphew, Stanley wrote “The People were hopeful that the search for, and the discovery of, the victim’s body would be concluded well before trial, but weather has complicated the efforts. Specifically, the area law enforcement has been focused on is in a remote and mountainous region nearby the Morphew residence. This area received a significant amount of snow over the winter months before a search could be completed.”
Eytan said during a hearing in October, a member of Stanley’s office said in court they “were wrong” about that, and her body has not been found.
DA’s office responds to complaint
District Attorney Linda Stanley shared a statement with FOX31, clarifying that she did not receive the complaint, nor did any of the other attorneys in her office named.
“The potential filing of a complaint against an attorney is not equivalent to the attorney engaging in any misconduct. Anyone can file a complaint against a lawyer with the Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel. The Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel does not require the complaint be in the form of an affidavit or otherwise be signed or submitted verifying its truthfulness. At the time of initial filing, the Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel makes a determination whether or not to open a case and further investigate the allegations including contacting the attorney for a response. The Office of Attorney Regulation has a procedure that ensures due process for those that may face an allegation.
“To date, no complaint has been received. It is disappointing that Ms. Eytan appears to be seeking to circumvent the procedures in place that protect due process by holding a press conference before any official action has taken place. All individuals, whether facing a potential complaint against their professional license or facing criminal charges are entitled to due process. Because we have no information on the complaint alleged by Ms. Eytan, we cannot comment at this time.
“I am proud to be the elected District Attorney for the 11th Judicial District and I take the responsibility very seriously. In all cases in the 11th Judicial District, the office works tirelessly with law enforcement, victims, witnesses, and defense attorneys to provide a fair and just outcome including gathering all evidence and sending it to the defense. We never willfully or purposely withhold evidence in any cases. Unfortunately, I cannot comment further on any open cases or any sealed cases due to the potential harm to the case and/or to the defendant.Linda Stanley, 11th Judicial District Attorney