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District Attorney Linda Stanley denies numerous complaints that could lead to revoked law license

FREMONT COUNTY, Colo. (KRDO) -- In a document obtained by KRDO13 Investigates, 11th Judicial District Attorney Linda Stanley denies allegations made against her in numerous complaints.

Several of these complaints were filed in the last year against Stanley to the Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel (OARC), a state body that disciplines attorneys. The complaints accuse her of violating "rules of professional conduct for attorneys" by speaking publicly about multiple open criminal cases, including that of a now-dismissed, high-profile murder case, violating mandatory evidence disclosures to defense attorneys, and attempting to investigate a sitting judge without criminal evidence.

In October, the OARC recommended Stanley be disciplined for the misconduct. On Dec. 18, Stanley filed a response, denying the allegations and asking the Presiding Disciplinary Judge of the Colorado Supreme Court to drop all requests for discipline.

The majority of the complaints accuse Stanley of making extrajudicial comments, a violation of an attorney rule of professional conduct that bars attorneys from making "out of court" statements about an ongoing criminal case that could influence public opinion and affect court proceedings.

Some complaints go all the way back to the beginning of the Suzanne Morphew case and include pretrial comments during a 2021 press conference when Barry Morphew was first arrested for the alleged murder of his wife, where Stanley told reporters Barry “was taken into custody and when asked questions he said he wanted a lawyer and all questioning ended.”

Stanley, in her response, claimed her comments didn’t have “a substantial likelihood of materially prejudicing an adjudicative proceeding,” which would be a violation of the rules of professional conduct for attorneys.

Throughout the Morphew trial, Stanley admits she communicated with multiple YouTubers and podcasters about the case and even went on some shows and commented with viewers, including with Mike King, who ran and operated the "Profiling Evil" YouTube page.

Stanley admits on May 15, 2021, she replied to King via text message after he asked her for more information on the weapon Barry Morphew was accused of using to kill his wife, a request to which Stanley responded by saying, "Um, I will see what I can do. Only because it’s you, Mike."

A month later, when King texted Stanley about new evidence in the case, she replied to him stating "I’m great! Thanks!! We got him. No worries," in reference to the ongoing murder case against Morphew.

After a preliminary hearing was held to determine if there was enough evidence to go to a potential trial, King texted Stanley "Feeling good?" to which Stanley replied "Yes. Only because the judge has basically indicated that he’s done. That’s good for us."

On August 30, 2021, Stanley appeared on King's YouTube channel and discussed portions of the ongoing criminal case against Morphew, including responding to comments made by viewers that solidified her belief that she would be able to convict Morphew of murder, despite it being a "no body" murder case. At the time, Suzanne Morphew's remains were not found.

In her legal response, Stanley again claims none of these comments had “a substantial likelihood of materially prejudicing an adjudicative proceeding in the matter,” and therefore didn't violate the rules for professional conduct. She goes on to say the “comment in question was not in any way a comment on the guilt or innocence of the accused.”

“The only plausible inference of this statement is that the prosecution thought they had a case against Mr. Morphew and could prove it. Wouldn’t any member of the public automatically assume that the prosecutor thought they had a case if they filed one? Certainly, the bringing of murder charges against someone carries a risk of public condemnation,” Stanley’s response stated.

These extrajudicial statements extend beyond the Morphew case. Another complaint stemmed from an on-camera interview Stanley gave to KRDO13 Investigates in July 2023 about the death of a 10-month-old child in Cañon City and the subsequent murder case filed against William Jacobs.

In that interview, Stanley told KRDO13 Investigates Jacobs was with the baby's mother, Brook Crawford, so that he could "get laid," adding that the baby was a "pain the a**" because there was no care or love for the child.

The OARC claims Stanley violated the rules because she knew that her comments would have been "disseminated by means of public communication and would have a substantial likelihood of materially prejudicing an adjudicative proceeding in the Jacobs and Crawford matters," the complaint stated.

In her response, Stanley admitted she said those statements but claimed they were “in violation of a request and agreement that the statements were off the record.” She argued she told KRDO13 Investigates she couldn’t talk about pending cases, so she claimed she “did not know that these statements would be disseminated by means of public communication and would have a substantial likelihood of materially prejudicing an adjudicative proceeding in the Jacobs and Crawford matters.”

Despite wearing a microphone and being on-camera, Stanley claimed she didn't know her statements would be made public. The state attorney regulation office said the district attorney "knew or should have known the interview would have been disseminated by means of public communication."

Other complaints include Stanley’s effort to have former Fremont County District Judge Ramsey Lama investigated for domestic violence after "adverse rulings" in the Morphew case once it was moved to Fremont County.

The complaint says that Stanley elicited the help of her investigator, Andrew Corey, to investigate Lama for abusing his ex-wife, Iris Lama. This came after Stanley allegedly asked members of the Chaffee County Sheriff's office to investigate Lama, to which they refused because there was "no good source for the investigation."

After Corey interviewed Judge Lama's ex-wife, he reported to Stanley that she stated "there was never any domestic abuse in their relationship, and that Judge Lama never said anything to her about the Morphew case."

Staley denied the allegations that she investigated Lama for domestic abuse to find information to disqualify him from the Morphew case. She claimed she has the legal right to investigate judges and “used her position as District Attorney in an attempt to see that Justice was done in the 11th Judicial District.”

“(The prosecution) felt that the court had not been even-handed in his rulings. They felt that the Judge was biased against the prosecution. They disagreed with many of his rulings, which they felt were unsupported by the evidence or the law. The court had effectively acted in its rulings in a way that forced the case to be dismissed,” Stanley said in her response.

Stanley said she then learned about an online petition going around with more than 2,000 signatures removing Lama from the case for a conflict of interest, claiming Lama’s ex-wife was an advocate of Suzanne Morphew and victims of domestic abuse. This came after Lama disallowed domestic violence testimony in the Morphew case.

Stanley said that’s when they decided to contact Lama’s ex-wife to see if there was “any merit to the claims raised in the public petition.”

“There is no evidence that this limited interview in any way prejudiced the administration of Justice. Although Attorney Regulation raises this claim, there is not a single word of supporting evidence or analysis provided to support it. This interview was not used in any way to influence or intimidate the court or anyone else associated with the case,” Stanley said in her response.

“If the District Attorney is not allowed to investigate allegations of misconduct of judges, then there is a real possibility that confidence in the judicial branch might be undermined. It violates the ‘axiom that no man is above the law,’” Stanley continued.

KRDO13 Investigates reached out to Lama about Stanley’s response, but we never heard back.

The rest of the complaints centered around Stanley, and her team of prosecutors, " having extreme difficulty complying with Crim P. 16 mandatory disclosures in a timely manner in the Morphew case."

Stanley admits her office was having “difficulty” providing evidence to the defense.

“The volume of material was taxing the office’s ability to process discovery,” Stanley said in her response. “Additionally, the discovery came through without labels or identifiers, so office staff would have to go through every single item to try to determine what it was and label it.”

She argues these alleged discovery violations never turned into ethical violations because there was no ill intent toward the evidence delays. Stanley goes on to say her prosecutors “acted with reasonable diligence and promptness. The rulings of the Judge in the case were viewed by the prosecution team as being unreasonable and unsupported by the facts and were contested and objected to by the prosecution.”

KRDO13 Investigates reached out to Stanley for comment, but she never responded. Her attorney, Steven Jensen, said he had no other comment to add outside of what was included in the legal response, except to reiterate Stanley’s comments to KRDO, referenced in the complaint, were off the record.

Now that Stanley has responded to the allegations, Jensen said a conference hearing is scheduled for Jan. 2, where a possible hearing trial date will be set.

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Quinn Ritzdorf

Quinn is a reporter with the 13 Investigates team. Learn more about him here.


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