HELENA — The state of Montana is no longer seeking the death penalty in the case of a man charged with being an accessory to the homicide of a sheriff’s deputy in May 2017.
Prosecutors filed the notice with the District Court on Thursday, saying the decision came after an analysis of Lloyd Barrus’ mental health. Last month District Judge Kathy Seeley ruled Barrus was mentally unable to help with his defense and ordered further treatment.
Barrus, 62, is charged as an accessory to the killing of Broadwater County Deputy Mason Moore near Three Forks along with other charges for shooting at officers during a pursuit along Interstate 90.
Seeley ordered doctors at the Montana State Hospital in Warm Springs to develop a treatment plan for Barrus that may include prescription medication. Seeley said she would issue a court order requiring Barrus to take his medication if he refused.
Broadwater County Attorney Cory Swanson wrote Thursday that the state realizes Barrus’ mental health could be a sufficiently mitigating circumstance to impose a sentence other than death if Barrus were to be convicted.
Prosecutors believe Barrus’ son, Marshall, killed Moore. Marshall Barrus, 38, was fatally injured hours later during a shootout with officers east of Missoula.
An investigation found the father and son had gone out that night intending to get into a gun battle with law enforcement officers.
Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup.
Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox.