BUTTE — The first day of testimony took place in Butte Thursday in the trial of Lloyd Barrus, the man facing multiple charges in connection with the 2017 killing of Broadwater County Sheriff's Deputy Mason Moore near Three Forks.
Prosecutors told the jury that Barrus and his son Marshall were men who hated the government and were looking to cause harm.
Prosecutor Daniel Guzynski played a taped telephone call from the Missoula County jail that Lloyd Barrus had with his mother days after the killing.
“This is what Marshall and I have lived for. This is what he died for, mother,” Barrus is heard to say in the recording.
“Ladies and gentlemen, that is why Mason Moore is dead,” said Guzynski.
The prosecution played police video of the shootout law enforcement had with Lloyd and Marshall Barrus near Missoula early May 16, 2017. Marshall was killed in the gun battle and Lloyd was taken into custody.
Marshall is accused of shooting Deputy Moore to death on Highway 287 near Three Forks during a traffic stop. Prosecutors claim Lloyd, who was the driver, initially drove away but then returned to the scene so Marshall could shoot more shots.
“Lloyd, not being satisfied with that, four minutes later turned that vehicle around on that lone stretch. Nineteen volleys in that vehicle, 19 shots,” said Guzynski.
Barrus's defense claims their client had no intent to kill an officer that night. The defense told the jury that Lloyd didn’t want to have a shootout with police and was only trying to help his troubled son.
“For all we know, trying to distract the officer to give them another target. He’s getting shot at, trying to save him from the day he came from Bakersfield, trying to save him from his own demise,” said Defense Attorney Craig Shannon.
Deputy Moore’s wife, Jodi, briefly testified the first day about how she met her late husband before they moved to Montana in 2011.
The trial will continue Friday morning and is expected to last two or three weeks.