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Aubrey Trail loses bid to act as his own attorney

Aubrey Trail loses bid to act as his own attorney

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Aubrey Trail sentencing

Aubrey Trail at his sentencing at the Saline County Courthouse in June. He has said he opposes delays in carrying out his death sentence.

LINCOLN — The Nebraska Supreme Court has rejected the request of convicted murderer Aubrey Trail to serve as his own attorney.

Trail, who was found guilty and sentenced to death for the 2017 slaying and dismemberment of Lincoln store clerk Sydney Loofe, had recently asked to dismiss his court-appointed lawyers and instead be appointed to handle his own legal affairs.

He said that he had reached an “impasse” with his attorneys on how to handle the legally required appeal of his death sentence and that he had the “common sense” to serve as his own lawyer.

In an email from prison to The World-Herald, Trail said his attorneys had opposed his desire to waive his automatic appeal and set an execution date within a year.

“I don’t want to appeal, the court sentenced me to death, carry out the sentence,” he wrote.

Last week, the Nebraska Supreme Court overruled his motion to serve as his own lawyer, saying he had failed to serve notice of his request on the Nebraska Attorney General’s Office.

His court-appointed defense attorneys, Ben and Joe Murray of Hebron, are in the process of preparing written arguments opposing Trail’s death sentence. The Attorney General’s Office will also have the opportunity to submit arguments. By law, the Supreme Court is required to expedite its ruling on the arguments, giving it precedence over other civil and criminal cases.

Trail, a 55-year-old Tennessee native with a long criminal record for fraud and writing bad checks, used social media and phone calls and emails to reporters to initially claim his innocence. Later, he used some of those same channels to maintain that he alone was responsible for Loofe’s death.

Loofe had arranged a date with Trail’s girlfriend, Bailey Boswell, via the dating app Tinder and disappeared after arriving at the Wilber, Nebraska, apartment shared by Trail and Boswell. Loofe’s body was not found until three weeks later, scattered along gravel roads in Clay County.

Boswell, 27, was convicted of first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder and improper disposal of human remains. A hearing is set next month to announce whether she will be the first woman in the state’s history sentenced to death.

The two trials were shocking, with three young women testifying that Trail and Boswell had talked about witchcraft and gaining “powers” by murdering someone. They said Trail offered to become their “sugar daddy” in exchange for obedience and sexual favors.


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Reporter - Regional/state issues

Paul covers state government and affiliated issues. He specializes in tax and transportation issues, following the governor and the state prison system. Follow him on Twitter @PaulHammelOWH. Phone: 402-473-9584.

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