In May 2017, Broadwater County Deputy Mason Moore was shot and killed during a routine traffic stop in Gallatin County. 

Suspects Lloyd Barrus and his son, Marshall Barrus fled, leading law enforcement on a high speed chase along Interstate 90. 

The chase ended in a shootout with law enforcement. Marshall Barrus was shot in the head and killed by law enforcement. 

Prosecutors said Barrus and his son planned a quote "Suicide Mission" involving a shootout with the police. 

In June of this year, District Judge Kathy Seeley found 62-year-old Lloyd Barrus was not able to help with his defense against a charge of accessory to deliberate homicide. 

A hearing is underway in Helena this week to determine if Barrus should be forcibly medicated in an effort to make him competent to stand trial. 

"I think that forcing someone, forcing someone to be medicated so that he could be mentally fit just opens up a whole slew of problems," said local lawyer Brandon Hartford. 

Since being declared mentally unfit to stand trial in June, Barrus has been held at the Montana State Hospital in Warm Springs.

On Wednesday, Montana State Hospital psychiatrist, Virginia Hill, testified that Barrus has responded to anti-psychotic medication in the past, but he has promised to "fight to the death" against being forcibly medicated. 

University of Montana Law Professor Andrew King-Ries said there are two things to look at with competency in court. 

"Can he assist with his defense, so he has a 6th amendment right to a jury trial or right to a defense. The other aspect is can you understand the proceedings themselves," said King-Ries. 

Defense Attorney Greg Jackson argued on Wednesday that Barrus's delusional disorder should be treated with cognitive therapy. Local criminal lawyer, Brandon Hartford, questions if forcibly medicating Barrus is the answer. 

"Who's going to make the decision that he fit to proceed again? Is there going to be a brand new psychological evaluation that is similar to the one they gave him originally to determine that he wasn't fit to proceed?" questioned Hartford. 

Professor King-Ries added, it is very difficult to find an answer for this case, and if a clear answer cannot be found, Barrus's case may move to higher courts in the future. 

KULR-8 Reporter

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