CO CO - Suzanne Morphew, 49, Chaffee Co, 10 May 2020 *Case dismissed w prejudice* #104

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Nikynoo

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The Pandemic shut down much in Colorado
Delays, staffing and communication all slowed down
Many working from home
‘‘Twas a thing”
From a legal case management view, I would agree that the initial lockdowns of April, May and June 2020 may have had an effect on deadlines. I know that many courts shut down during that time and deadlines were moved accordingly. However, the legal system was quick to react to this by holding hearings and meetings remotely.

In addition, many legal practices are electronic and have been for many years. Documents are held electronically and can be accessed remotely. If either side were badly impacted by the pandemic, then allowances would be made to negate any difficulties either side may have had. To my knowledge, the prosecution did not cite the pandemic as a reason for their tardiness.
 
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WingsOverTX

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Fom a legal case management view, I would agree that the initial lockdowns of April, May and June 2020 may have had an effect on deadlines. I know that many courts shut down during that time and deadlines were moved accordinlgy. However, the legal system was quick to react to this by holding hearings and meetings remotely.

In addition, many legal practices are electronic and have been for many years. Documents are held electronically and can be accessed remotely. If either side were badly impacted by the pandemic, then allowances would be made to negate any difficulties either side may have had. To my knowledge, the prosecution did not cite the pandemic as a reason for their tardiness.
From April 2021:
Court staff, defense attorneys, prosecutors, judges and even the state legislature are taking a variety of measures to try to address the logjam, including renting extra space, trying to hire more staff and making it easier for retired judges to temporarily return to the bench to shoulder some of the workload.

Driving the urgency is defendants’ right to be brought to trial within six months of entering a plea, a mark that has been impossible to meet during the pandemic.

“Trials are set four deep in a lot of courtrooms across the state, and these are cases that have been around for a long time, so our membership is reporting that they’re trying to prepare for four trials going to trial on the same day, knowing full well that three of them are going to be continued, but they don’t know which three,” she said. “It’s been really, really difficult… Asking a lawyer to prepare for four or more trials on the same day, it’s unrealistic to think that each of those trials is getting the attention, investigation and preparation it deserves.”
 

Nikynoo

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From April 2021:
Court staff, defense attorneys, prosecutors, judges and even the state legislature are taking a variety of measures to try to address the logjam, including renting extra space, trying to hire more staff and making it easier for retired judges to temporarily return to the bench to shoulder some of the workload.

Driving the urgency is defendants’ right to be brought to trial within six months of entering a plea, a mark that has been impossible to meet during the pandemic.

“Trials are set four deep in a lot of courtrooms across the state, and these are cases that have been around for a long time, so our membership is reporting that they’re trying to prepare for four trials going to trial on the same day, knowing full well that three of them are going to be continued, but they don’t know which three,” she said. “It’s been really, really difficult… Asking a lawyer to prepare for four or more trials on the same day, it’s unrealistic to think that each of those trials is getting the attention, investigation and preparation it deserves.”
But still, the pandemic 'excuse 'was not used as a reason for their tardiness. In addition, this is in relation to court scheduling and not deadlines imposed by the court to produce.

IMO Canada is far, far worse.
 

WingsOverTX

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But still, the pandemic 'excuse 'was not used as a reason for their tardiness. In addition, this is in relation to court scheduling and not deadlines imposed by the court to produce.

IMO Canada is far, far worse.
IMO a "pandemic excuse" was not used publicly because as the article shows, it was an everyday fact of life that unsettled most jurisdictions in CO. And Judge RL would have been well-aware of that.

I'm not arguing all of the prosecution's failures in this case should be overlooked. I do believe with or without an actual pandemic excuse "on the record," there were & are ongoing impacts.

As the article states, having to be fully prepared for 4 trials not knowing which 3 will not proceed is a heavy burden.

Just the complications of going virtual have had and do have an ongoing impact on criminal courts across America.

Colorado’s initially ubiquitous use of virtual courts during the pandemic has faded into a patchwork of judge-by-judge decisions about when proceedings go forward in-person or online, even as many in the justice system call for some virtual options to be preserved post-COVID.

I respect your opinion.

I think U.S. laws that favor doing things a certain way for at least half a century then courts being forced to pivot while still needing to honor those laws is having an ongoing serious impact even today. Ours is not a system that is equal across jurisdictions in terms of technology, manpower, etc. The struggle is real.

Respectfully, MOO
 

Love Never Fails

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While she’s at it, how about holding defense attorneys to a higher standard as well, including herself. Spouting half truths and blatant fabrications doesn’t exactly elevate her to high moral ground. Stating BM is innocent (rolling my eyes), that lies and perjury were commited ”to get Mr. Morphew wrongfully convicted (more eye rolling), ”critical” DNA evidence was ignored by the prosecution (nonsense), not an “ounce” of evidence against BM (more nonsense) and then attacks a credible, respected journalist, blaming her and others for BM not being able to get a fair trial. Oh, let’s not forget, ”Barry Morphew loves her and misses her.” Seriously, after watching this again, I need a bucket!


MOO, JMO and all that .
 

Love Never Fails

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While she’s at it, how about holding defense attorneys to a higher standard as well, including herself. Spouting half truths and blatant fabrications doesn’t exactly elevate her to high moral ground. Stating BM is innocent (rolling my eyes), that lies and perjury were commited ”to get Mr. Morphew wrongfully convicted (more eye rolling), ”critical” DNA evidence was ignored by the prosecution (nonsense), not an “ounce” of evidence against BM (more nonsense) and then attacks a credible, respected journalist, blaming her and others for BM not being able to get a fair trial. Oh, let’s not forget, ”Barry Morphew loves her and misses her.” Seriously, after watching this again, I need a bucket!


MOO, JMO and all that .
I can’t love this post enough!
 

California Dreamin’

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I wonder how many other cases in Colorado missed this many deadlines?
And, I wonder how many cases in Colorado had this much circumstantial evidence (veritable mountains of evidence) to deal with??

I for one have and will continue to give LS the benefit of the doubt. All the blame cannot be laid at her feet, IMO. BM’s arrest and the AA showed ALL of us just how guilty he is. No foul, no harm. Second inning coming up. Can’t wait and can’t be soon enough for me. His days as a free man are numbered, because this time around there’s no question surrounding the partial DNA and hopefully bond will be denied!

MOO
 

California Dreamin’

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No trial= no justice
Agreed! But I have faith it’s coming and although I say, “it can’t come soon enough” for me, I have mustered enough patience to wait. It comforts me to know he’s not really “free,“ at least figuratively. He is a prisoner to what he did, in a prison of his own making. He is a marked man, a pariah of sorts. Stares, whispers, avoidance. His face says it all. It weighs heavy on him knowing others know, daily wondering if today is THE day LE are coming for him. That in and of itself is a small measure of divine justice in the interim, while we wait…….
MOO
 

MountainDad

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As someone said on another case - Patience, Grasshopper! :)
2 years 3 months is a lot of patience. I'm heading to Salida area end of Sept for an event. I'm going a day early to search and check out the Puma Path area etc. I'll be on my ebike, goes off road and on trails easily. Im hoping this case will be headed to trial with remains located by then, but if not do any sluethers have a particular area pinpointed as highly probable. I know some members have done extensive research and would love to here your thoughts.
 

WingsOverTX

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2 years 3 months is a lot of patience. I'm heading to Salida area end of Sept for an event. I'm going a day early to search and check out the Puma Path area etc. I'll be on my ebike, goes off road and on trails easily. Im hoping this case will be headed to trial with remains located by then, but if not do any sluethers have a particular area pinpointed as highly probable. I know some members have done extensive research and would love to here your thoughts.
The famous barbershop where Barry enjoyed the surprise company of Jonny so much? But I digress...

If you could visit the place where our perp did his "swan dive" that might be instructive. There's a cemetery near there as well.

I will now yield the floor to the super sleuthers with their maps & research.

Have a great time in sunny Colorado @MountainDad!

MOO
 

California Dreamin’

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2 years 3 months is a lot of patience. I'm heading to Salida area end of Sept for an event. I'm going a day early to search and check out the Puma Path area etc. I'll be on my ebike, goes off road and on trails easily. Im hoping this case will be headed to trial with remains located by then, but if not do any sluethers have a particular area pinpointed as highly probable. I know some members have done extensive research and would love to here your thoughts.
It took more than 8 years for Donthe Lucas to be held accountable for Kelsie Schelling’s murder. The jury got it right. Another “no body” case, and might I add, less circumstantial evidence for the prosecution to work with than in Suzanne’s case. I am confident BM will be arrested again, with or without Suzanne’s remains. The evidence is overwhelming. The prosecution just needs to have their expert witnesses testify.

Sorry, I can’t help you with any tips on the possible location of SM’s remains. I can’t find my way out of a phone booth.:rolleyes:

Safe travels too!
 

Megnut

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2 years 3 months is a lot of patience. I'm heading to Salida area end of Sept for an event. I'm going a day early to search and check out the Puma Path area etc. I'll be on my ebike, goes off road and on trails easily. Im hoping this case will be headed to trial with remains located by then, but if not do any sluethers have a particular area pinpointed as highly probable. I know some members have done extensive research and would love to here your thoughts.
If you don't mind the detour, maybe you could swing into the gym and obliterate the push up record.

If you hike the area, please be on the look out for young trees adorned with pitiful piles of rocks. I'm most curious about disturbances to the surrounding grasses. Too much nitrogen. Or perhaps too much additive of another kind. Rings in the surrounding grass, mushrooms....

Would love to have someone start at PP and eat up about 14 miles. Where would that take you?

If you run into BM and he offers to share a steak with you....

In all seriousness, if you pause at Foose's bridge, send a wish into the water from all of us -- #SuzanneStrong

JMO
 

mrjitty

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From a legal case management view, I would agree that the initial lockdowns of April, May and June 2020 may have had an effect on deadlines. I know that many courts shut down during that time and deadlines were moved accordingly. However, the legal system was quick to react to this by holding hearings and meetings remotely.

In addition, many legal practices are electronic and have been for many years. Documents are held electronically and can be accessed remotely. If either side were badly impacted by the pandemic, then allowances would be made to negate any difficulties either side may have had. To my knowledge, the prosecution did not cite the pandemic as a reason for their tardiness.

This was during the Omicron wave time which saw many public orgs struggle with service levels.

I think what is different to your UK experience is that in the US it seems to be common practice to miss discovery deadlines (see Gitana's comments on this in a previous thread)

So you have a level of bureaucratic incompetence in an organisation, mixed with the big O, and DA gameplay, and likely you have a prosecution which misses deadlines of habit dealing with chaos of people off sick etc

I was shocked in the McStay case (my first big US trial) how both sides submitted expert evidence only days before the witness took the stand, which was already during the trial.

US is strange.
 

mrjitty

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But still, the pandemic 'excuse 'was not used as a reason for their tardiness. In addition, this is in relation to court scheduling and not deadlines imposed by the court to produce.

IMO Canada is far, far worse.

I don't think it can be used an excuse, because they should have just applied for an extension and or delay of the trial

The Judge apparently accepted that it was not in bad faith

My take is that the prosecution was simply disregarding the deadlines as of not much importance i.e. this seems to be a culture issue at the DA's office, and that is why the Judge was sending such a strong message.

They have to shape up on their case management - but again this seems not uncommon in US cases.
 

Nikynoo

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This was during the Omicron wave time which saw many public orgs struggle with service levels.

I think what is different to your UK experience is that in the US it seems to be common practice to miss discovery deadlines (see Gitana's comments on this in a previous thread)

So you have a level of bureaucratic incompetence in an organisation, mixed with the big O, and DA gameplay, and likely you have a prosecution which misses deadlines of habit dealing with chaos of people off sick etc

I was shocked in the McStay case (my first big US trial) how both sides submitted expert evidence only days before the witness took the stand, which was already during the trial.

US is strange.
I am currently overseeing two US cases in federal court and 1 at TTAB (my cases tend to be international in nature). I appreciate that deadlines slide for one reason or another, but my cases are civil and not criminal and no-one is stuck in a jail cell somewhere.

I also appreciate that the case loads for courts in the US are horrendous and many judges just cannot manage. In addition to cases, many judges carry out court mandated mediation, which adds to their workload. I can also appreciate that there must be a knock on effect for lawyers and their clients. I don't know how the backlogs and delays will resolve, as people will continue to sue and people will continue to commit crimes.
 

Nikynoo

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2 years 3 months is a lot of patience. I'm heading to Salida area end of Sept for an event. I'm going a day early to search and check out the Puma Path area etc. I'll be on my ebike, goes off road and on trails easily. Im hoping this case will be headed to trial with remains located by then, but if not do any sluethers have a particular area pinpointed as highly probable. I know some members have done extensive research and would love to here your thoughts.
My thoughts are, that Suzanne is either located on the PP property or very close nearby and it must be accessible by foot.
 
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