Barry Morphew pleads guilty in 2020 voter fraud case

Barry Morphew pleaded guilty Thursday to a forgery charge in a voter-fraud case in which he admitted to casting his missing wife’s 2020 ballot for President Donald Trump.

The case before 11th Judicial District Judge Patrick Murphy in Chaffee County is concluded, according to court records. Morphew was fined and assessed court costs of $600. Barring a reversal, the deferred judgment will end on June 21. A review is scheduled for Nov. 28.

He will serve no jail time as part of the plea agreement. His probation is supervised. Should he run afoul of the agreement, Morphew faces up to six years in prison if there are extraordinary or aggravating circumstances.

Morphew, the husband of missing Chaffee County resident Suzanne Morphew, told investigators he filed a fraudulent 2020 election ballot in his wife’s name because he thought Trump could use the extra vote.

Chafee County Clerk Lori Mitchell called the sheriff’s office on Oct. 22, 2020, after her office received Suzanne Morphew’s mail-in ballot, an arrest warrant said. Barry Morphew had signed the ballot as a witness and dated it Oct. 15, 2020.

Suzanne Morphew was reported missing on May 10, 2020, by a neighbor who said she never came home from a bike ride. Authorities have searched for her for more than a year, following hundreds of tips, to no avail. Her body has never been found.

Barry Morphew was charged with first-degree murder in the death of his wife, but prosecutors dropped the case in April, just nine days before it was set to go to trial.

In the voter fraud case, prosecutors charged Morphew with one count of forgery and one count of a mail ballot offense in connection with his missing wife’s ballot, according to an arrest warrant from the Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office.

An FBI agent confronted Morphew about the ballot in April 2021, and he told the agent that he had filled out his missing wife’s form, “Just because I wanted Trump to win. I just thought give him another vote. I figured all these other guys are cheating.” He told the FBI agent that he didn’t know it was illegal to fill out a ballot on behalf of a spouse.

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