State will seek death penalty for Bailey Boswell in slaying of Sydney Loofe

State will seek death penalty for Bailey Boswell in slaying of Sydney Loofe
Bailey Boswell

LINCOLN — State prosecutors revealed Wednesday that they will seek the death penalty for Bailey Boswell in the slaying of Lincoln store clerk Sydney Loofe.

If Boswell, 24, is found guilty of first-degree murder and sentenced to death, she will be the first woman on Nebraska’s death row in history, according to State Department of Corrections records.

Loofe disappeared in November after going on a date with Boswell that was arranged online.

The 24-year-old store clerk’s body was found three weeks later, dismembered and wrapped in black plastic bags, in a rural area in south-central Nebraska, about an hour’s drive west from where Boswell was living in Wilber, Nebraska.

Authorities had already announced that they were seeking the death penalty for Boswell’s 51-year-old boyfriend, Aubrey Trail.

Trail, in calls to media, has claimed that he alone was responsible for Loofe’s death, saying that he accidentally choked her to death during a sexual fantasy and that Boswell was out of the room at the time.

The Nebraska Attorney General’s Office has alleged that two aggravating factors exist to justify the death penalty for Trail: that the slaying exhibited “exceptional depravity” and that Trail had a substantial past history of violent crimes.

In the filing Wednesday, the AG’s office alleged one aggravating factor for Boswell: that the slaying was especially heinous.

Boswell’s court-appointed attorney, Todd Lancaster of the Nebraska Commission on Public Advocacy, declined to comment on Wednesday’s development.

Caril Ann Fugate, the 14-year-old girlfriend who accompanied Charlie Starkweather during his murderous spree in 1958, stood trial for first-degree murder, making her the youngest female in the nation to face the death penalty. But jurors instead sentenced her to life in prison, with one telling reporters that Fugate’s young age figured in that decision. She was paroled in 1976 and is reportedly living in Michigan.

Boswell, 24, is a former standout basketball player from Leon, Iowa. She crisscrossed the country with Trail, trading in antiques. They were frequent visitors to casinos and resorts, according to Trail.

Initially the pair — in video messages posted on social media — denied involvement in Loofe’s death. Later, though, Trail changed his story in calls to the media. Boswell, according to authorities, has not talked with investigators since being arrested, with Trail, in Branson, Missouri.

Boswell is scheduled to next appear in the murder case in Saline County District Court on Monday. She and Trail are also scheduled to be sentenced on Friday in federal court in Lincoln for defrauding a Kansas couple out of nearly $400,000 in a scam to buy a rare coin overseas.

Attorneys representing Trail and Boswell on Tuesday evening were allowed to inspect property the pair left behind at the basement apartment in Wilber that they had rented. Ben Murray, Trail’s court-appointed attorney, said that the items reminded him of things you’d find at a farm auction, such as antiques and old comic books.

He said that “shackles” listed as part of the property appeared to be antique and not something that would be used to bind someone.

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