Trial begins anew for feces-smearing suspect in cop’s death
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Jury selection began anew Wednesday for a suspect who brought an end to his October murder trial by smuggling excrement into a New Orleans court and rubbing it on his face.
Travis Boys is on trial in the 2015 shooting death of police officer Daryl Holloway.
As jury candidates filed into court Wednesday, Boys was seated with his lawyers. His shackled arms and legs were under a table where potential jurors could not see them.
Opening statements are set for Monday.
Boys has pleaded not guilty and not guilty by reason of insanity. But since his October mistrial, he has been judged mentally competent to stand trial on a first-degree murder charge in the 2015 shooting of Holloway. Conviction would mean life in prison.
District Judge Karen Herman, who ordered a mental evaluation for Boys after the feces-smearing incident, has since declared that Boys “hijacked” the proceedings with his stunt. “He will no longer be allowed to control these proceedings,” Herman told the defense at a November hearing.
Boys is believed to have smuggled the feces into the courthouse when he was transferred from the New Orleans jail. He had used a bag from the lockup’s commissary, according to testimony from a Sheriff’s Office attorney. It was apparently hidden in his underwear and was undetected when he changed from prison garb into a suit for jury selection.
Holloway was fatally shot as he drove Boys to jail after an earlier arrest. Police said they believe Boys smuggled the gun into the police SUV. They said the suspect was handcuffed but somehow got his hands in front of his body, shot Holloway and escaped the vehicle, which crashed into a utility pole. Boys was found and arrested the next day.
In October 2015, a former police officer pleaded guilty to malfeasance and obstruction of justice charges related to Holloway’s death. Wardell Johnson is awaiting sentencing in the case. Police said he failed to adequately pat down Boys after his arrest, and tried to cover up his shoddy police work.