The man accused of being an accessory in the 2017 shooting death of Broadwater County sheriff’s deputy Mason Moore will not be going to trial any time soon.
Lloyd Barrus, 62, is charged with accessory to deliberate homicide for the death of Moore, along with multiple other counts of accessory to attempted deliberate homicide in connection with the deputy's death outside Three Forks and a chase that spanned several counties.
Barrus could face the death penalty for any of those charges if convicted.
During Thursday’s status hearing, lawyers from the state attorney general’s office assisting Broadwater County Attorney Cory Swanson agreed with a decision made by a Montana State Hospital that Lloyd Barrus was unable to stand trial due to years of mental health issues stretching back to 2000.
“The report of the examination looked at past mental history dating back to 2000,” state Assistant Attorney General Brant Light said. “We do not contest the findings of the report that the defendant is presently unfit to proceed.”
Barrus will be committed to the Department of Health and Human Services for further evaluation and treatment, including medication. His defense lawyers said Barrus would most likely object to that, which would require another hearing on the matter.
Judge Kathy Seeley set a new hearing for Sept. 7 to review whether Barrus would be fit to stand trial.
Moore, who was a husband and father of three, was shot and killed early on the morning of May 16, 2017.
Officials believe Barrus and his son went out the night before seeking a gunfight with law enforcement. Around 2 a.m., Moore attempted to stop the pair as they sped north on Highway 287 and a pursuit ensued. About six minutes into the pursuit, the deputy started taking gunfire from the Barrus' vehicle.
Dashcam footage shows that Moore survived his initial gunshot wound but died after the assailants turned around and drove right up to where the deputy's car had stopped, firing another two dozen rounds.