Judge rules man accused of killing NOPD officer fit to stand trial

A man charged with first-degree murder in the 2015 shooting death of New Orleans Police Officer Daryle Holloway was Thursday deemed competent by a New Orleans judge to stand trial on March 19.

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Last month Travis Boys, 35, was ruled incompetent to stand trial after eating his feces and rubbing it on his face.

Boys was sent to the Eastern Louisiana Mental Health System hospital in Jackson for nearly three weeks of evaluation and treatment.

The state appealed the ruling, claiming a jail tape from the same day showed boys planned the incident.

Following a 4 1/2-hour competency hearing on Thursday, at which several mental health physicians testified that they concluded Boys was “malingering” in an attempt to delay his trial, Criminal District Court Judge Karen Herman agreed and found the defendant competent to proceed to trial. Malingering is a clinical term used by forensic psychologists and psychiatrists to indicate that a patient is faking or exaggerating a mental disease or defect.

“It was unfortunate that this defendant was able to successfully manipulate the criminal justice system by feigning mental illness,” Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro said. 

The court received a report and heard testimony from Dr. John Thompson, chief of staff and clinical director of the ELMHS Forensic Division. Dr. Thompson and his staff evaluated Boys during a 20-day inpatient stay that began Oct. 24.

“We do not have definitive evidence of a mental illness or deficiency that would render Mr. Boys unable to understand the proceedings against him or assist in his defense with a reasonable degree of rational understanding,” Dr. Thompson concluded in his written report. “There is also a high degree of suspicion that Mr. Boys may be feigning cognitive deficits and psychotic symptoms.”

Boys is accused of killing Holloway with a gun smuggled into the back seat of the police officer’s vehicle on June 20, 2015. He faces a life sentence without the possibility of parole if convicted of the first-degree murder.

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