Travis Boys Trial: Defense witnesses testify about accused killer's mental capacity

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Defense lawyers in the trial of accused cop killer Travis Boys focused their arguments Thursday on his alleged mental incompetency, while prosecutors tried to dispute those claims.

The defense called Boys' older sister, Jernice Joseph, to the stand. She testified about her brother's mental capacity.

"He can't remember basic information. He can't remember his social security number," she said. "His comprehension is very, very dense, very dim."

Joseph also claimed that Boys doesn't know how to count change and did not hold a steady job.

"Travis has been incarcerated most of his childhood. Most of his life has been in jail, in prison," she said.

She added that at times he would not remember some of his actions.

Defense attorneys also called Dr. Sarah Deland, an expert in forensic psychiatry. She said she had worked with Boys twice.

"When I met him the first time, his thought process was scattered…to the point I had to keep reigning him back in," Deland said. "He also showed increasing latency in response. He also reported hearing voices, and he did also appear to be responding to something I couldn't hear."

Deland testified that Boys' mother and uncle were both diagnosed with schizophrenia. She also talked about an IQ test Boys took when he was 15 years old. At that time, she said his score indicated "borderline retardation."

The defense then brought up an incident in 2014 when Boys jumped out of a second-story window because he heard voices and believed people were coming after him.

Upon cross-examination, the prosecution argued that doctors believed boys had an alcohol problem, and they asked Deland whether she thought Boys could be exaggerating his condition.

"He gave us incorrect colors of the American flag, which indicated to me that he was exaggerating symptoms, because most people know the colors of the flag," Deland said
Deland also said she could not tell the jury that Boys didn't know right from wrong the day that Officer Daryle Holloway was shot and killed.

Copyright 2018 WVUE. All rights reserved.