Murder of Sheriff Mason Moore: Dateline Episode Explores Dark Highway Case

***Disclaimer: This article contains mentions of murder and assault. Readers’ discretion is advised.***

A gripping episode of Dateline titled ‘On a Dark, Deserted Highway’ aired on February 3, 2023, delving into the tragic case of Mason Moore. This episode takes us on a journey to unravel the shocking murder of Moore and the subsequent conviction of Lloyd Barrus. Now, get ready to experience this unforgettable story once again as Dateline: Unforgettable brings it back to life on Oxygen on January 18, 2024, at 8 p.m. ET.

Mason Moore, a respected sheriff from the Broadwater County Sheriff’s Office, encountered a fateful incident on May 16, 2017. Moore attempted to pull over a vehicle on a highway, but when the driver refused to comply, a high-speed chase ensued. The pursuit covered a staggering 160 miles before tragedy struck. One of the passengers in the fleeing car opened fire, injuring Moore and causing him to lose control of his vehicle. Eventually, Moore’s assailants shot him twice in the head near Missoula, leading to his untimely demise.

Following the shooting, the Montana Highway Patrol relentlessly pursued the offenders, successfully disabling their vehicle using deflation devices. The occupants were identified as Lloyd and Marshall Barrus, a father-son duo. Shockingly, the Barrus duo had mercilessly shot Mason Moore 19 times, according to an article by the U.S. Sun. During the ensuing chase, officers managed to apprehend Marshall Barrus, but tragically, they were forced to use lethal force, resulting in his death. Lloyd Barrus was arrested and later charged with the murder of Mason Moore.

Mason Moore had served as a sheriff for the Broadwater County Sheriff’s Office for three years, showcasing his dedication to law enforcement. Prior to that, he had accumulated fifteen years of experience in the field. On the other hand, Lloyd Barrus, convicted for Moore’s murder, was known to harbor strong anti-law enforcement sentiments.

Lloyd Barrus faced trial for his heinous crimes, and on September 21, 2021, he was found guilty of three counts of deliberate homicide by accountability and two counts of attempted deliberate homicide. Consequently, he received three consecutive life sentences for the murder of Mason Moore in April 2022. Initially, the defense had argued that Lloyd was mentally unfit to stand trial due to various disorders. However, the court later deemed him mentally competent.

Presently, Lloyd Barrus is serving his sentence at the Montana State Prison. The determination of his jail term took place in April 2022, almost seven months after the official conviction. The case was prosecuted by attorneys Dan Guzynski and Stephanie Robles from the Montana Department of Justice. The Barrus duo had led the police on a harrowing 160-mile chase, which tragically ended in a shootout that claimed Marshall’s life. This shootout is said to have occurred near Missoula.

Prosecutors revealed that Lloyd and Marshall held strong anti-law enforcement views. In fact, this wasn’t Lloyd’s first encounter with the authorities. Lloyd and his son Jeffrey were previously arrested in California after a high-speed chase in Death Valley National Park, as reported by Montana Free Press. Although no lives were lost in that incident, an accidental gunshot was fired at a California Highway Patrol Helicopter, forcing the vehicle to land.

Last year, on February 3, Dateline shed light on Mason Moore’s murder case for the first time. And now, the captivating story will be revisited on Dateline: Unforgettable on Oxygen on January 18, 2024, at 8 p.m. ET. Brace yourself for an emotional journey through this tragic and unforgettable tale.

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