Ex-New Orleans officer pleads guilty in tossing evidence in cop-killing case

John Simerman

The New Orleans Advocate

A former New Orleans Police Department officer pleaded guilty as charged Wednesday to obstruction of justice and malfeasance in office for tossing a box of bullets into a New Orleans East canal and initially lying about it following the June 20 killing of NOPD Officer Daryle Holloway.

Wardell Johnson faces as much as 40 years in prison after pleading guilty to a pair of obstruction counts and a charge of malfeasance in office. Orleans Parish Criminal District Judge Karen Herman set a Jan. 22 sentencing date for Johnson, who recently resigned from the force.

A 12-year NOPD veteran, Johnson had been assigned to the 5th District along with Holloway when the latter officer was killed after police apparently botched a search of arrestee Travis Boys. The officers who had detained Boys failed to turn up a .40-caliber handgun that Boys, 33, is now accused of firing on Holloway, fatally, through a port in a police SUV as Holloway drove him to jail. Boys has been charged with first-degree murder. He has pleaded not guilty.

Johnson, 39, later admitted to investigators with the NOPD’s Public Integrity Bureau that he tossed the .40 caliber bullets out of his vehicle after failing to log them in as evidence.

Police said body-worn camera footage also showed Johnson deliberately attempted to leave a .40-caliber bullet casing on the ground at the initial crime scene, where Boys allegedly shot at his wife in the early morning hours of June 20.

Read more of this story at The New Orleans Advocate's website.