NewsCrime and Courts


Barrus trial: closing arguments on Tuesday

Mason Moore
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Posted at 12:32 PM, Sep 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-20 14:57:44-04

BUTTE — Both the State and the defense rested their cases in Lloyd Barrus' deliberate homicide by accountability trial on Monday morning, in which Barrus is accused in the death of Broadwater County Sheriff's deputy Mason Moore in 2017.

The judge decided to dismiss the jury until Tuesday morning at 9 a.m. where closing arguments will begin. The delay was decided so both sides can go over jury instructions.

Lloyd Barrus is accused of aiding his son Marshall in the May 16th shooting death of Deputy Moore. Barrus also faces felony charges of attempted deliberate homicide and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Lloyd Barrus is accused of driving his Suburban with his son Marshall as a passenger the morning of the deputy’s death.

Prosecutors allege Lloyd purposely instigated the deputy into a high-speed pursuit on Highway 287, where Marshall shot at the pursuing officer from the passenger seat and killed him near Three Forks.

This led to another long pursuit with law enforcement across the state that ended in a gun battle, where Lloyd Barrus surrendered, and Marshall was shot and later died.

Lloyd Barrus watches police video shortly after his arrest as testimony continues in his homicide trial accusing him in the death of a Broadwater Sheriffs deputy in Butte Monday morning.

Prosecutors also showed the jury the handgun Lloyd Barrus allegedly fired at police in the shootout before being taken into custody. A shotgun belonging to Marshall was also found at the scene of the shootout, along with many rounds of ammunition.

Prosecutors say on May 16, 2017, Deputy Moore was hit by 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. Lloyd Barrus is then accused of pulling up alongside Deputy Moore’s vehicle where his son fired a dozen more shots at the deputy.

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

Lloyd Barrus faces five charges – deliberate homicide by accountability, 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.

Prosecutors had initially sought the death penalty for Barrus, but in June 2018 Judge Seeley ordered Barrus committed after he was found unfit to stand trial for a host of mental disorders, including persecutory type delusional disorder and mixed personality disorder. Prosecutors decided not to seek the death penalty a month later. The State went back to court seeking to forcibly medicate Barrus to get him to a point where he was mentally fit to stand trial.

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Prosecutors say 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.

In May 2019, almost two years after Deputy Moore’s death, Judge Seeley ordered Barrus to comply with treatment and said he could be forcibly medicated. Barrus’ attorneys appealed the ruling to the Montana Supreme Court, but in January 2020 the high court upheld Seeley’s decision. In February 2020, Barrus filed a federal lawsuit himself alleging, among other claims, he was threatened with the death penalty and denied a speedy trial. That suit sought $11 million in damages, but a Federal Judge dismissed most of the claims in June 2020.

Deputy Mason Moore was 42 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.