CBI agent in Barry Morphew murder case resigned amid internal affairs investigation

A Colorado Bureau of Investigation agent who testified in the murder case against Chaffee County’s Barry Morphew resigned from the agency last month amid an internal affairs investigation, according to a letter obtained by The Denver Post.

Former Agent Joseph Cahill resigned Dec. 8, two days before an internal affairs report was issued about an “accidental discharge” of his personal gun in his home while he was off duty, according to the so-called “Brady letter,” named after a U.S. Supreme Court decision that requires officer credibility issues be disclosed during the court process.

“Pursuant to our responsibilities under Brady v. Maryland, I am writing to inform you that there may be information contained in (a) Colorado Bureau of Investigation internal affairs report… that may impact the credibility of Joseph Cahill,” CBI Director John Camper wrote in the Dec. 10 letter to the 11th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, which is prosecuting the case against Morphew.

Morphew, 54, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of his wife, Suzanne Morphew, who was 48 when she disappeared from the family’s Chaffee County home in May 2020. Investigators believe Barry Morphew killed his wife in a fit of rage after discovering she had carried on a months-long extramarital affair, then lied and hid evidence to try to cover his tracks.

Barry Morphew maintains that he is innocent, and his defense attorneys have argued that his wife may have run away or been kidnapped. During an August preliminary hearing, Cahill testified that investigators found male DNA on Suzanne Morphew’s glovebox that did not match her husband but did correspond with partial DNA profiles found in three unsolved sexual assault cases in different states.

At the time, 11th Judicial District Chief Judge Patrick Murphy called the DNA “pretty critical evidence.” He has since removed himself from the case over a potential conflict of interest. The case was reassigned to District Judge Ramsey Lama.

It was not immediately clear how the Brady letter about Cahill’s credibility would impact the case against Morphew, but the letter was discussed in court Monday during a pre-scheduled motions hearing. The hearing is expected to continue Tuesday.

The CBI’s letter did not include additional detail about the internal affairs investigation into Cahill and did not say why he resigned. Susan Medina, a spokeswoman for the CBI, declined to comment Monday. Cahill could not be reached.

In the letter, Camper said CBI officials “regret this situation.”

“While I am disappointed that I need to pen this letter, it is important that you be made aware of this matter,” Camper wrote.

Morphew’s attorneys could not be immediately reached.

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