Ex-NOPD officer sentenced for mishandling evidence in Daryle Holloway killing

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The former New Orleans police officer accused of mishandling a case that ended up in the death of his colleague was sentenced Friday.

Wardell Johnson received five years in custody with credit for the seven months he already served. Johnson pleaded guilty to two counts of obstruction of justice and malfeasance in office and resigned in 2015.

Orleans Criminal District Court Judge Karen Herman described Wardell's actions as "atrocious," but took into consideration his service in the Marines and police department. She said it was "extremely difficult to come up with that number."

"It could've been worse, it could've been a lot worse, cause two of the charges carried up to 40 years. But he did do everything that was asked by the prosecution," Defense Attorney Robert Jenkins said.

Holloway's mother left in tears after hearing the sentencing.

Olander Holloway testified, directing her pained statements towards Johnson.

"I don't remember you ever saying sorry or claiming any responsibility for my son's death," Olander Holloway said.

She went on to ask, "If the roles were reversed, would Daryle have done such a sloppy job in policing? I know in my heart he would've done a much better job that Saturday."

Johnson addressed the family with a short statement, saying, "I just want to tell Daryles family I am sorry for what happened that day."

Wardell was accused of destroying evidence of a box of bullets after responding to a domestic violence case involving Travis Boys, along with an improper pat down of Boys, who hid a gun that would later be used on Holloway.

"I don't remember you ever saying sorry or claiming any responsibility for my son's death," Olander Holloway, the victim's mother, said.

After her testimony, Johnson issued a statement to Holloway's family saying he was sorry for what happened that day.

Johnson threw away a box of bullets, evidence from when Travis Boys was investigated for domestic violence.

Judge Herman sternly condemned Wardell's mishandling, calling his behavior "insidious."

"You knowingly have evidence that pertains to a death penalty case. Do you do anything with that? Do you do the honorable thing? No, you take it one step further and you destroy the evidence," Herman said.

Testimony also showed boys snuck the gun that was used to kill Holloway due to Wardell's improper pat down.

Herman also pointed out the history of wardell's misconduct in his 13 years with NOPD, including multiple cases in 2006 and 2010 where he failed to write reports for domestic violence cases.

"You repeatedly refused to accept responsibility for your actions," Herman said.

However, Jenkins said johnson does feel remorse, and accept responisibility.

"Whenever he met up with the da and talked about it, he teared up because daryle holloway was one of his very good friends and Daryle introduced him to his wife, and that's how close they were," Jenkins said.

Holloway's mother added if he were alive, he would tell her to let it go, which she said she couldn't.

"I have to live the rest of my life with the regret that the last time I saw Daryle, I never got to daryle how much he meant to me," Holloway said.

Travis Boys will receive a mandatory sentence of life without the possibility of parole at a hearing set for May third.