The high-profile case of Barry Morphew, accused of first-degree murder and other crimes related to his wife Suzanne’s disappearance, continues.
Morphew’s attorneys filed a motion yesterday to ask that a different judge preside over his murder trial.
The motion alleges that Judge Patrick Murphy is too close of friends wit the attorneys for a woman named Shoshona Darke, who has been romantically linked to Morphew following his wife’s disappearance.
Darke is facing misdemeanor charges for trespassing after surveillance footage captured her picking up a package form Morphew’s old residence.
As Darke is a potential witness in Morphew’s murder trial, his defense team filed a motion alleging that there is a conflict of interest if Judge Murphy presides. Darke’s attorneys, who are friends with Judge Murphy, will have to be present in the courtroom for her testimony.
Judge Murphy was originally slated to preside over Darke’s trespassing trial as well, but he recused himself after learning who would be representing her.
It’s up to Judge Murphy to make the decision and rule whether it would be fair for him to preside over the case. That decision is expected to come January 11th. As there are only two other judges in the county, it’s possible a retired judge would have to be brought in for the case. It’s possible that this would cause a trial delay, which would give Morphew more time out on bond before the trial begins.