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Cold case defense: ‘Suspicions, yes… probable cause, no.’

KTVO Michael Lee Syperda/ Garfield County Sheriffs Office.jpg

A Colorado man appeared in a Henry County courtroom Wednesday, less than a week before he’s set to stand trial for murdering his wife.

Michael Lee Syperda, 52, is facing a First-Degree Murder charge after his wife, Elizabeth Syperda, 22, left her apartment in Mount Pleasant in July 2000 and never returned.

Syperda was extradited back to Henry County when a Grand Jury returned a true bill indictment last fall.

Syperda filed a motion earlier this month to dismiss the case, or at the very least suppress some of the incriminating evidence.

The defense argued the motion in front of a judge Wednesday.

Mount Pleasant Police Chief Ron Archer was called for questioning.

Syperda’s attorney, D.J. Arbabha asked to review parts of the probable cause statement.

Arbabha argued that at the time of Elizabeth’s disappearance, investigators did not have enough evidence to search Syperda’s Mount Pleasant apartment.

Arbabha said the suspicion was there, but the probable cause was not.

Assistant Attorney General Scott Brown asked the judge to overrule Syperda’s motion because several examples of domestic violence suggest there is plenty of incriminating evidence.

The judge didn't indicate when a ruling might be handed down.

Syperda’s trial is still set for May 1, 2018.

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