HELENA — Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty in the shooting death of a Montana sheriff's deputy in May.

Broadwater County Attorney Cory Swanson filed notice on July 25 with the 1st Judicial District Court in Townsend.

In late May, Lloyd Barrus pleaded not guilty to about two dozen charges filed against him, including accountability to deliberate homicide in the death of Deputy Mason Moore. A Nov. 13 trial date was set for Barrus, 61, who was ordered to be held on $4 million bond by District Court Judge James Reynolds.

Barrus also faces two counts of accountability for attempted deliberate homicide involving two Butte-Silver Bow police officers and five counts of attempted deliberate homicide involving a Montana Highway Patrol officer and law officers from four jurisdictions.

Moore, 42, a husband and father of three, died from gunshot wounds while attempting to stop Lloyd Barrus and his son Marshall Barrus near Three Forks early in the morning of May 16.

Deputy Mason Moore mugshot

Deputy Mason Moore

Moore followed the vehicle for about a minute before activating his emergency lights and siren, according to court documents. The vehicle he was pursuing did not stop, and he advised dispatch of the pursuit. The California license plate number he provided came back as belonging to a 1998 Chevrolet belonging to Lloyd Barrus.

Another call to dispatch at about 2:32 a.m. reported reaching speeds of 100 mph.

A dash camera recorded the pursuit and ensuing gunfire and showed that after six minutes, Moore appeared to have been struck by gunfire. The camera was knocked from its mount and the patrol car came to a stop off the side of the road.

Moore was silent and did not move for about three minutes after the initial gunfire, according to the video, before he seemed to regain consciousness and could be heard moaning faintly before he opened the door to his vehicle.

About a minute later Moore and his vehicle were struck by additional gunfire.

Backup officers arrived about eight minutes later and found Moore dead just north of Three Forks.

The vehicle Moore was pursuing was spotted by a Butte-Silver Bow County sheriff's deputy near Anaconda around 3:30 a.m., spurring a chase that led to the Rock Creek area on Interstate 90.

Lloyd Barrus and his son, Marshall Barrus, allegedly fired at officers at the end of the chase. Lloyd Barrus was taken into custody, and Marshall Barrus was shot in the head and died the next day in a Missoula hospital.

An investigation found the father and son had gone out that night intending to get into a gun battle with law enforcement officers.


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