- Associated Press - Friday, May 26, 2017

TOWNSEND, Mont. (AP) - A man who reportedly talked about getting into a shootout with law enforcement pleaded not guilty Friday to more than two dozen felony charges including accountability to deliberate homicide in the May 16 shooting death of a Montana sheriff’s deputy.

Lloyd Barrus of Bakersfield, California, was arraigned in District Court in Townsend on charges stemming from the death of Broadwater County Deputy Mason Moore and a pursuit on Interstate 90 that ended in another shootout about 35 miles (56 kilometers) east of Missoula, the Bozeman Daily Chronicle (bit.ly/2s56KyV) reports.

Barrus‘ son Marshall, 39, was shot in the head by officers and died the day after the shootout. Authorities concluded Marshall Barrus shot Moore.

While in court, Lloyd Barrus said: “Tell Officer Moore’s wife and kids I’m sorry for their loss.”

The charges against Barrus, 61, also include five counts of attempted deliberate homicide, two counts of accountability for attempted deliberate homicide and 10 counts of assault on a peace officer.

The charges cover a crime spree and pursuit that began with Moore’s shooting death in Broadwater County and a 100-mile (161 kilometer) pursuit from Butte to east of Missoula during which Barrus and his son reportedly fired shots at pursuing officers, disabling some of their vehicles, authorities said.

Broadwater County Attorney Cory Swanson has not decided whether he will seek the death penalty.

Barrus is being held in the Missoula County jail on $4 million bail, but was brought to Townsend for Friday’s arraignment.

Marshall Barrus’ children told investigators that Lloyd Barrus had been staying with the family for several weeks, that both their father and grandfather had strong anti-law enforcement views and that both openly discussed a shootout with police, according to court records.

The children said their father tried to get them to join their “suicide mission,” the records said.

Moore, 42, was shot as he pursued the vehicle driven by Lloyd Barrus early on May 16. The men then turned their vehicle around and shot him again, investigators found.

Officers looking for the Barrus’ sport utility vehicle spotted it near Butte and began a pursuit that stretched to Rock Creek, where both got out of the SUV and began shooting at officers. Lloyd Barrus was arrested after an officer shot a handgun out of his hand.

In 2000, Lloyd Barrus was arrested and later convicted for a chase with law enforcement in which he and two others, including another son of his, shot down a police helicopter in Death Valley. The helicopter landed and no one was hurt.


Information from: Bozeman Daily Chronicle, https://www.bozemandailychronicle.com

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