On Friday, February 16, 2024, 9News reported that the lead prosecutor in the Barry Morphew murder case was accused of seeking retaliation against the judge presiding over a trial.

Mark Hurlbert, a deputy district attorney for the 11th Judicial District, is facing a complaint filed with the Colorado Supreme Court by the Attorney Regulation Counsel. The complaint accuses Hurlbert of joining District Attorney Linda Stanley’s efforts to discredit Judge Ramsey Lama after several rulings went against the prosecution.

According to the complaint, Hurlbert was involved in text message discussions with DA Stanley about investigating Judge Lama when the judge made decisions they disagreed with. One text from Hurlbert to the prosecution team acknowledged “Judge is messing with us again.” It is alleged that Hurlbert agreed to Stanley’s plan to have a private investigator interview Lama’s ex-wife in an attempt to find information for the judge’s potential recusal or disqualification.

The complaint against Hurlbert claims he went along with investigating Judge Lama despite no credible evidence of any misconduct that would justify a criminal probe. It maintains Hurlbert’s actions were an abuse of power and went against a prosecutor’s duty to serve justice fairly.

In addition, the complaint accuses Hurlbert of failing to properly and timely disclose expert witness information to the defense as required, even after the court granted more time. It says a lack of diligence resulted in disclosures to the Morphew defense that were late, incomplete, and inaccurate.

DA Stanley has already been facing a previous complaint over alleged missteps in the Morphew case, such as investigating Lama, speaking to true crime podcasts, frequently arriving late to court hearings, and discovery violations. She admitted to launching the probe into the judge but denied it was retaliatory.

The high-profile Barry Morphew prosecution involved allegations that Morphew murdered his wife Suzanne in 2020. However, charges were unexpectedly dropped days before the scheduled trial was set to begin in late 2023.

Hurlbert has denied the new allegations in the complaint against him and says he will file a response. The case will be reviewed by the Colorado Supreme Court which regulates the practice of law in the state, including attorney discipline.



Source: 9News