WILBER, Neb. (AP) — A Nebraska man was convicted Wednesday of killing a 24-year-old Lincoln woman and could now face the death penalty.
A jury began deliberating Wednesday afternoon and in less than three hours agreed to convict 52-year-old Aubrey Trail of first-degree murder in the 2017 death of Sidney Loofe. Trail also was found guilty of criminal conspiracy to commit murder.
Trail and his girlfriend, Bailey Boswell, were both charged with first-degree murder. Loofe’s body parts were found in 14 pieces in ditches along a state highway, weeks after her November 2017 disappearance.
Trail had maintained Loofe’s death happened accidentally during rough sex. Trail said he made up stories, including one about killing 14 other people, to throw investigators off track.
On Thursday, a second phase of the trial will begin to determine if Trail’s action qualify for the death penalty.
Boswell is awaiting trial.
Trail missed much of his own trial after slashing his neck in the courtroom on June 24. Trail yelled “Bailey is innocent, and I curse you all” before he swiped something across his neck that day. Deputies rushed to help as Trail lay bleeding.
Trail opted to skip the trial after that until he returned earlier this week to testify in his defense.
Prosecutors said Trail and Boswell planned to kill someone before Boswell met Loofe on the dating app Tinder.
Boswell solicited young women through social media sites, and she and her boyfriend together picked out a victim.
Trail said he and Boswell actually met Loofe several months earlier, but she didn’t want to participate in their other crimes. He said they rekindled a relationship in November 2017 through Tinder.
Prosecutors said Trail repeatedly changed his story during the investigation and trial.
Authorities said Trail and Boswell were captured on video at a Home Depot in Lincoln on Nov. 15, 2017, buying tools used to dismember Loofe, hours before Loofe’s death and while she was still at work.