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Barrus: guilty of accountability in the deliberate homicide of Deputy Mason Moore

Mason Moore
Posted at 10:23 PM, Sep 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-22 00:36:28-04

BUTTE — Lloyd Barrus has been found guilty of deliberate homicide by accountability for the 2017 death of Broadwater County Sheriff's deputy Mason Moore.

Barrus was also found guilty on two counts of attempted deliberate homicide, assault on a peace officer, and unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted felon in connection with the death of Moore and an ensuing chase and shootout with law enforcement officers.

The homicide convictions mean Barrus faces the possibility of several life in prison sentences.

The jury spent 2.5 hours in deliberation.

During the trial, prosecutors said on May 16, 2017, Deputy Moore was struck with a bullet while attempting to stop Barrus and his son Marshall near Three Forks on Highway 287. Moore came to a stop a few miles south of the I-90 interchange.

Prosecutors alleged Lloyd Barrus then pulled up alongside Deputy Moore’s vehicle where his son fired a dozen more shots at the deputy.

Law enforcement chased the two men for nearly 150 miles. The chase ended on Interstate 90 near Missoula. Marshall Barrus was killed in a shootout with officers.

On Tuesday, the prosecution and defense presented their closing arguments after eight days of testimony.

Barrus: guilty of accountability in the deliberate homicide of Deputy Mason Moore

Prosecutors reiterated their allegations that Barrus and his son were men who shared anti-government feelings and had purposefully instigated the deputy into a chase on Highway 287.

“This case is an evil partnership between Lloyd Barrus and his son Marshall Barrus to satisfy their desire, to satisfy their hatred of the government and law enforcement,” said prosecutor Daniel Guzynski.

The defense closed by arguing that Barrus had no intention to kill the officer.

Lloyd Barrus
Lloyd Barrus

“It’s their job to tell you the truth and I'm just pointing out where they didn’t. I told you in jury selection that your job is to find reasonable doubt,” said Craig Shannon, Barrus’ defense attorney.

Prosecutors had initially wanted the death penalty for Barrus but changed course after he was found unfit to stand trial for a host of mental disorders in 2018, including persecutory type delusional disorder and mixed personality disorder.

In May of 2019, Judge Kathy Seeley ordered Barrus to comply with treatment from the state and said he could be forcibly medicated in order to stand trial. Barrus’ attorneys appealed the ruling to the Montana Supreme Court, but in January 2020 the high court upheld Seeley’s decision.

Deputy Mason Moore was 42 when he was killed and is survived by his wife Jodi and three children. Jodi Moore created the Mason Moore Foundation which provides grants to local law enforcement agencies for programs or special equipment that may not be available through the standard governmental funding process.