A tense situation in Orleans Criminal Court Monday as the man accused of killing a police officer made his first appearance since being indicted for first-degree murder.
Flanked by two guards, Travis Boys pleaded not guilty to charges that he killed Officer Daryle Holloway on June 20.
"They expected that, but as much as you expect it, you don't feel it until he comes into the court," said Holloway's uncle, David Belfield.
Holloway's mother reacted in court as attorneys for her son's accused killer responded to the charges.
"She jumped, and then he said not guilty, and she flinched a little bit," Belfield said.
After the plea, Boys' attorney read a statement from his family.
"'We can't imagine in the time of grief the sorrow that the family is feeling," said attorney Christopher Murrel.
"My sister said all along it's not about Mr. Boys," Belfield said. "Her reaching out was to his family, his family grieves and our family is grieving. That doesn't take away the feelings of what he did, and that's what she's processing right now." Belfield said.
After Monday's court appearance, Holloway's family went to the DA's office to be apprised of the latest legal wrangling in the. They praised the mayor, police chief and the D.A. for keeping them in the loop on every major decision, but in spite of the DA's announced intention to seek the death penalty against Boys, the family hasn't decided if they agree.
"She hasn't made up her mind, and the DA hasn't talked to her directly," Belfield said. Those meetings will come."
"I think it's always tough on the families," FOX 8 legal analyst Joe Raspanti said. "Death penalty cases are rough because they're never-ending, but it's the right call by the DA due to the heinous nature of this crime, and what it means to the whole community that someone can do that to a policeman."
Judge Karen Herman set Aug. 20 as the date for prosecutors to turn over evidentiary materials pertaining to the case. In the meantime, Boys remains locked up in isolation, held without bond.
Holloway's family members say it's unfortunate that we are only hearing good things about him now that he's gone. They say they are talking with city officials to try and change that in order to show officers they are appreciated on a regular basis.