The trial for Lloyd Barrus, the man charged in the killing of Broadwater County Sheriff's Deputy Mason Moore, is expected to begin Thursday, September 9, in Silver Bow County.
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.
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 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.
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.
Barrus’s trial will be overseen by District Judge Kathy Seeley at the Butte-Silver Bow Courthouse. The trial has been scheduled for up to three weeks and individuals familiar with the proceedings told MTN the state may call more than 20 witnesses for testimony.
Prosecutors had initially wanted the death penalty for Barrus, but in June 2018 Judge Seeley ordered Barrus committed after he was found unfit to stand trial for several mental disorders, including persecutory type delusional disorder and mixed personality disorder. Prosecutors dropped the death penalty option a month later.
The State went back to court in an attempt to forcibly medicate Barrus to get him to a point where he was mentally fit to stand trial.
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.