NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Judge Karen Herman ruled Thursday that Travis Boys is incompetent to stand trial at this time in the murder of New Orleans police Officer Daryle Holloway.
District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro released the following statement in response to the decision:
"Today's decision by the Court was extremely disturbing. Not only did medical experts testify that the defendant was malingering, but also every piece of evidence presented to the Court evidenced that this was a voluntary planned disruption perpetrated by the defendant to delay the trial.
"Unfortunately, this is not the first time that such a charade has been attempted by violent criminals in Louisiana. However, in those other jurisdictions, the Court did not reward the defendant by delaying his trial.
"I had hoped that this Court was too intelligent to allow an accused cop killer to hijack these proceedings, but I was incorrect. I fear that today's decision will only encourage similarly situated defendants to engage in such misconduct in the future. As my prosecutor argued in court this afternoon, 'You think that eating feces is bad? Just wait for what's next. This will not stop… He is manipulating the Court, and he is manipulating [the judge].'
"This afternoon, the city of New Orleans sunk to a new low when we turn control of our criminal justice system over to an accused murderer who killed a dedicated police officer on film."
Assistant District Attorney Christopher Bowman added: "The DA believes the family of officer Holloway is owed an apology for the unnecessary delay it has caused to these proceedings."
After the decision was read aloud in court, members of the Holloway family burst into tears.
Boys will now be sent to a secure mental facility in E. Feliciana Parish. He will remain there until his treatment is completed and then he will be returned to New Orleans to face the murder charges.
Jury selection had started Wednesday morning, but what some call a disgusting act by Boys caused the judge to clear the courtroom. A courtroom source said that after Boys returned to his seat after a bathroom break Wednesday afternoon, he pulled a napkin out of his pocket and began rubbing feces all over his head and face. More than 90 potential jurors witnessed the act.
Herman cleared the courtroom and ordered a new competency hearing to be held Thursday.
Boys has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity in Holloway's death.
Just last month, Judge Herman ruled that Boys was competent to stand trial after hearing from both a psychologist and psychiatrist.
According to our partners at Nola.com | The Times-Picayune, Boys' lawyers claim he suffered a psychotic episode in 2014, when he jumped through a second-floor window and broke his right ankle. The defense also claims their client has an IQ low enough to show signs of mental impairment.
Boys has had an IQ test since his arrest, but members of the sanity commission say he has no incentive to answer questions correctly since a poor score would help his case.
Boys is facing a first-degree murder charge, but the district attorney has ruled out the death penalty in this case, meaning Boys would face life in prison if convicted.