NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Jury selection begins anew Wednesday for a man who smuggled excrement into a New Orleans courtroom and smeared it on his face and head — short-circuiting his trial in the death of a New Orleans police officer.
Travis Boys has since been judged mentally competent to stand trial on a first-degree murder charge in the 2015 shooting of officer Daryl Holloway.
District Judge Karen Herman, who ordered a mental evaluation for Boys after the feces-smearing incident, has since declared that Boys "hijacked" the proceedings with his stunt. "He will no longer be allowed to control these proceedings," Herman told the defense at a November hearing.
Boys is believed to have smuggled the feces into the courthouse when he was transferred from the New Orleans jail. He had used a bag from the lockup's commissary, according to testimony from a Sheriff's Office attorney. It was apparently secreted away in his underwear and was undetected when he changed from prison garb into a suit for jury selection. Boys' defense attorney, who had pushed to have his client ruled incompetent, described seeing Boys smear feces on his face and head and even eating it from his fingers.
Boys has pleaded not guilty and not guilty by reason of insanity.
Holloway was fatally shot as he transported Boys to jail after an earlier arrest. Police said they believe the gun police was smuggled into the police SUV that Holloway was driving. Police said the suspect was handcuffed but somehow got his hands in front of his body, shot Holloway and escaped the SUV, which crashed into a utility pole. Boys was found and arrested the following day.
In October, 2015, a former police officer pleaded guilty to malfeasance and obstruction of justice charges related to Holloway's death. Wardell Johnson is awaiting sentencing in the case. Police said he failed to adequately pat down Boys following the arrest that led to Holloway's shooting, and tried to cover up his shoddy police work.