Barry Morphew, 53, was charged with felony forgery and offenses relating to mail ballots, a misdemeanor, according to court records filed Thursday.
He was previously arrested on May 5 on charges of first-degree murder after deliberation, tampering with physical evidence and an attempt to influence a public servant, according to court documents, in connection with the disappearance of his wife, Suzanne Morphew, over a year ago.
Suzanne Morphew, 49, who shared two daughters with her husband, disappeared on May 10, 2020, near the small mountain town of Salida, in Chaffee County. She has yet to be found.
So when the Chaffee County Clerk’s Office received a voter ballot in the mail for the missing person in October, the county clerk reported the alleged voter fraud to authorities, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.
The ballot did not have the required signature, but was allegedly signed by Barry Morphew on the witness’ signature line on Oct. 15, according to the affidavit.
The Chaffee County sheriff seized the ballot and its envelope as evidence, and Barry Morphew’s own ballot and envelope were seized in March as well during a monthslong investigation, according to the affidavit.
During an interview with FBI agents in April, Barry Morphew allegedly confessed to submitting his wife’s ballot, according to the affidavit.
“Just because I wanted Trump to win,” he allegedly said, per a transcript of the conversation included in the affidavit. “I just thought, give him another vote.”
“I figured all these other guys are cheating,” he allegedly said, adding that his wife “was going to vote for Trump anyway,” according to the affidavit.
He allegedly told the FBI agents he didn’t realize it was illegal to submit someone else’s voter ballot. “I didn’t know you couldn’t do that for your spouse,” he allegedly said, according to the affidavit.
Barry Morphew is being held in the Chaffee County Detention Facility without bond in the murder case. He is next scheduled to appear in court on May 27. His attorneys are state public defenders, who do not comment on criminal cases.
No other arrests are expected in connection with the disappearance of Suzanne Morphew, authorities said. The arrest affidavit for the murder charge is sealed, and prosecutors have not revealed a suspected cause of death.