Witnesses begin testifying in trial of man accused of killing NOPD officer

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Nearly three years after the murder of veteran New Orleans police Officer Daryle Holloway, prosecutors began calling witnesses Monday, in the first-degree murder trial of his alleged killer.

But the attorneys for defendant Travis Boys claim he's mentally deficient.

Not only is Boys accused of killing the officer, he also disrupted court last year by smearing his own feces on his face. But veteran officers dispute claims that he is mentally deficient, and irrational.

Not only is boys accused of killing a cop, but he also disrupted court last year, by smearing his own feces on his face. But veteran officers dispute claims that he is mentally deficient and irrational.

June 20, 2015, was a dark day for the New Orleans Police Department. Holloway was fatally shot in the line of duty while transporting Boys jail on behalf of friend and fellow officer Wardell Johnson.  Johnson testified Monday about not patting Boys down properly and also hiding evidence. He is no longer with the NOPD after apparently missing the handgun which was ultimately used to kill Holloway.

"He's very remorseful. Every time we talk about it he cries about it," said attorney Robert Jenkins. He and Holloway were very good friends."

In opening statements, Boys attorney Billy Sothern said his client, who was originally arrested for a domestic disturbance, is mentally challenged. He has entered pleas of not guilty and not guilty by reason of insanity on Boys' behalf. But some question that plea.

"He chose not to try to escape in front of the Fifth District. He waited until he was alone in the car. That's not irrational to me," said Eric Hessler with the Police Association of New Orleans.

In a rare move, Boys' feet were shackled to the floor after the feces incident, which happened in front of potential jurors. He sits just feet away from Holloway's extended family, who have waited three years for this trial.

"It's a terrible thing, but it stresses to all these officers they have to be perfection every day or they could lose their life," said Hessler, referring to the botched search of Boys.

"He's not contesting it - you saw the video, he just patted him down and didn't do a full body search. He admits that," Jenkins said.

Johnson has pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice and malfeasance and is awaiting sentencing, according to Jenkins. He said no deal has been made with regard to Johnson's possible sentence.

Johnson was on the witness stand for much of the day Monday showing his body cam photos as prosecutors continue laying out their case against Boys.

Copyright 2018 WVUE. All rights reserved.