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Death penalty option dropped in Barrus case

Posted at 1:29 PM, Jul 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-20 15:29:07-04

(HELENA) The Broadwater County Attorney’s Office and the state of Montana have filed a notice saying they are no longer seeking the death penalty against Lloyd Barrus, the man accused of killing Broadwater County Deputy Mason Moore last year.

In court documents filed on June 19th, prosecutors cited an extensive analysis of Barrus’ history of mental health.

Last month Barrus was found unfit to stand trial for the killing of Deputy Moore.

According to an Order of Commitment, an examination of Barrus’ mental health found that he suffered from multiple disorders. Doctors at the Montana State Hospital say Barrus suffers from Persecutory Type Delusional Disorder, Mixed Personality Disorder, and Alcohol and Marijuana Use Disorders of unknown severity.

The June court order says that doctors found the diagnosis of Delusional Disorder leaves Barrus unfit for future criminal proceedings, including trial.

Court records say that Barrus has refused medication to help treat his disorder and without them, he will likely remain unfit to stand trial.

In June, Judge Kathy Seeley ordered Barrus committed and all future proceedings suspended. The Montana State Hospital has been ordered to develop a treatment plan for Barrus that could allow the case to continue. He will also be reevaluated in the future.

Barrus’ son Marshall is accused of fatally shooting Deputy Mason Moore during a pursuit near Three Forks on May 16, 2017. Lloyd and Marshall Barrus then led law enforcement officers on a nearly 150-mile chase that ended just east of Missoula.

Marshall Barrus was fatally wounded in a gunfight with officers.

Lloyd Barrus faces a total of five charges including 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 recent court filings, the state says it believes that treatment of Barrus’ disorders will allow for the case to be tried before a jury in the future and that the decision to not seek the death penalty is not in response to a motion filed by Barrus’ defense challenging the Constitutionality of the death penalty.

Lloyd Barrus has pleaded not guilty.

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