NewsCrime and Courts


Barrus set to be sentenced for the death of Sheriff's deputy

Mason Moore
Posted at 1:31 PM, Apr 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-22 20:07:26-04

GREAT FALLS — "On the charge of count one deliberate homicide by accountability, we the jury find the defendant guilty. On the charge of count two attempted deliberate homicide by accountability, we the jury find the defendant guilty. On count three, attempted deliberate homicide by accountability we the jury find the defendant guilty."

That was the collective voice of the jury in September 2021, after finding Lloyd Barrus guilty in connection with the shooting death of Broadwater County Sheriff's deputy Mason Moore.

During the trial, prosecutors said Moore was struck by a bullet while attempting to stop Barrus and his son Marshall near Three Forks on Highway 287 on May 16, 2017.

Mason Moore
Mason Moore

Moore came to a stop a few miles south of the I-90 interchange. Prosecutors said Lloyd then pulled up alongside Moore’s vehicle, and Marshall fired a dozen more shots at the deputy.

Prosecutors alleged that Barrus and his son shared anti-government feelings and had deliberately instigated Moore into chasing them 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.

Lloyd Barrus
Lloyd Barrus

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

    At a January 2022 hearing, Barrus’ defense argued his mental condition “robbed him of the ability to appreciate and conform,” and recommended he be committed to the state hospital and continue treatment.

    In March 2022, District Court judge Kathy Seeley ruled that the defense for Barrus did not meet the burden for him to be ruled “guilty but mentally ill.” The ruling paved the way for sentencing, and for Barrus to serve his sentence in prison rather than the state hospital.

    Seeley said that although Barrus did suffer from a mental disorder, he repeatedly showed an understanding of the criminality of his actions and the ability to “conform his behavior to the requirements of law.”

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

    Sentencing of Barrus is scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m. in Townsend; he faces up to three life sentences in prison.