The Latest: Feces-smearing suspect competent for trial
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The Latest on a mental competency hearing for a man charged in the 2015 death of a New Orleans police officer (all times local):
A man who brought an abrupt end to his October first-degree murder trial by smearing excrement on his head and face in court is now considered competent to be tried in the 2015 death of a New Orleans police officer.
State District Judge Karen Herman made the ruling Thursday in the case of Travis Boys. She set his new trial date for March 19.
Boys shocked courtroom observers last month by pulling a bag of feces from his clothing and rubbing the excrement on his head and face. Herman declared him incompetent. But she ordered further mental evaluations and treatment so he can be could be tried in the shooting death of Officer Daryle Holloway.
On Thursday, Herman said Boys had “hijacked” the earlier proceedings with the feces stunt and that he was clearly trying to manipulate the court.
Psychiatric experts are saying that a criminal suspect who abruptly ended his October murder trial by smearing his head with feces was uncooperative in later mental health evaluations and may have exaggerated symptoms of mental incapacity.
They testified Thursday at a competency hearing for Travis Boys, who is charged in a New Orleans police officer’s death.
Psychiatrist John Thompson said Boys seemed able to converse with others at the state hospital where he was sent last month. Thompson said one guard reported that Boys appeared to be able to play chess with another patient. Still, Thompson and others said there’s no sure way of determining if Boys was faking mental health symptoms.
Thursday’s hearing is to determine whether Boys is now competent to be tried in the 2015 death of Officer Daryle Holloway.
The suspect in the 2015 death of a New Orleans police officer has returned to the courtroom where he abruptly ended his trial last month by smearing excrement on his head.
Travis Boys was ruled incompetent for trial after the October incident. The judge in the case ordered him evaluated and treated. The issue in Thursday’s hearing is whether he is now competent to stand trial on a first-degree murder charge in the death of Officer Daryle Holloway.
Boys has pleaded not guilty and not guilty by reason of insanity. He was seated at the defense table Thursday, shackled and surrounded by three guards as court began.
The hearing started with the judge warning Boys that he could be removed from court for disruptive behavior.
A hearing is set in New Orleans on the mental competency of a man who brought an abrupt end to his trial in a police officer’s death by smuggling excrement into the courtroom and rubbing it onto his face.
Thursday’s hearing comes six weeks after state District Judge Karen Herman declared Travis Boys incompetent. That October ruling came over the objections of prosecutors who said Boys’ action was a planned stunt to delay his first-degree murder trial in the 2015 shooting death of Officer Daryle Holloway.
Herman ordered Boys evaluated and treated to restore his competence so he can be tried.
Holloway was driving Boys to jail in June 2015 when he was shot to death with a gun authorities believe was smuggled into the police SUV.