A Colorado man who was previously charged with the murder of his still-missing wife has reportedly pleaded guilty to casting a presidential ballot for Donald Trump under her name during the 2020 election.
Barry Morphew admitted that he cast the illegal mail-in ballot for his wife, Suzanne Morphew, following her mysterious disappearance “because I wanted Trump to win,” The Denver Post reported, citing an arrest warrant.
“I just thought give him another vote. I figured all these other guys are cheating,” he reportedly told an FBI agent about his decision, which he said he didn’t think was illegal.
He pleaded guilty on Thursday to one count of forgery, a felony, and was sentenced to one year of supervised probation.
Morphew cast the ballot for his wife about five months after she was reported missing after going for a bike ride near her home in Salida, Colorado, in May of 2020.
Prosecutors charged him with first-degree murder last year in her disappearance, accusing him of killing her after discovering that she was involved in an extramarital affair. All charges were dropped against him in April, however, after prosecutors were sanctioned by a judge for violating discovery rules. The district attorney can refile the same charges against him in the future as the case was dismissed without prejudice, The Denver Post reported at the time.
The body of Suzanne Morphew, who shares two children with her husband, has not been found.
An attorney for Barry Morphew told The New York Times that he cast the ballot for his wife innocently, believing that when he became the legal guardian for her after she went missing that he was entitled to represent her in voting as well.
“He believed that because he could sign legal documents for her, that the ballot, similarly, was under his authority,” said his attorney, Iris Eytan. “So he was following her wishes. He did not sign her name. He signed his name on the witness line. So he didn’t, in any way, intend to deceive the clerk of the court.”
Eytan added that Morphew continues to maintain his innocence in his wife’s disappearance and that he wishes authorities would focus on finding her rather than prosecuting him for voter fraud.