Defense: Suspect in New Orleans officer’s death mentally ill

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Jurors heard opening statements Monday in the trial of a man charged with first-degree murder in the 2015 shooting death of a New Orleans police officer.

Boys has pleaded not guilty and not guilty by reason of insanity in the death of Officer Daryle Holloway.

New Orleans news outlets report that defense attorney Billy Sothern told jurors Boys is mentally ill and has a history of mental illness.

Sothern said the defense would not dispute many facts the state will present throughout Boys’ trial. He told the jury it will be up to them to determine not what happened, but why it happened.

In her opening, Assistant District Attorney Inga Petrovich said the evidence will make clear that the only just verdict is guilty as charged.

Holloway was shot to death while transporting Boys to jail in a police SUV. Police have said they believe Boys smuggled a gun into the vehicle.

Boys was declared competent to stand trial in November after state District Judge Karen Herman heard from two medical experts and said that Boys was trying to stall proceedings.

He had been scheduled for trial in October but brought an abrupt end to jury selection by smuggling feces into the courtroom and rubbing the excrement on his head and face.

The trial is expected to last a week. Jurors are expected to see video from Holloway’s body camera, which captured his last moments.

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