Her boyfriend, who slit his own throat in court, is on death row.
Bailey Boswell has avoided becoming the first woman in Nebraska to be executed.
The 27-year-old will instead serve life in prison for the 2017 murder of Sydney Loofe, who was cut into 14 pieces after she refused to join Boswell and her boyfriend’s Tinder sex cult.
All three judges on the panel needed to unanimously agree the crime showed “exceptional depravity” to impose the death penalty. But at Monday’s sentencing, one of them dissented, according to KETV.
Both presiding District Court Judge Vicky Johnson and District Court Judge Darla Ideus had pushed for the execution; Johnson pointed out that Loofe’s corpse had suffered wounds even after she was dead. “They are not there as a cause of the murder. These cuts evidence an exceptionally-depraved mind,” Johnson argued.
“Ms. Loofe was needlessly mutilated by Trail and Boswell as part of the plan to satisfy her sexual desire,” she added. “The mutilation was not done as an afterthought to hide the body.”
Some of Loofe’s scattered organs, including her heart, were never found.
But Judge Joseph Bataillon did not agree the prosecution had satisfactorily proved the murder was exceptionally depraved.
“After receiving and reviewing the evidence of the state and the defendant as the sole aggravating circumstance, as alleged by the state, that the murder manifested exception depravity by ordinary standards of morality and intelligence, I could not find beyond a reasonable doubt that the state of Nebraska met his burden of proof as to this aggravating circumstance,” he said.
“Nothing in this dissent should be understood to diminish the sentences of the murder of Sydney Loofe and the great pain this has caused her family and friends. However, because I could not find that the state had met its burden of proof as to the aggravating circumstances. I hereby dissent from the other two judges on this panel.”
The defense had argued Boswell should not share the same responsibility as her boyfriend Aubrey Trail, who is currently on death row; Trail screamed as much to the court when he slit his own throat as he was sentenced to death in June.
During her sentencing hearing in July, Boswell said she was initially thankful to the 54-year-old for getting her out of an abusive relationship — but then began to fear him.
She had pleaded for her life for the sake of he five-year-old daughter.
“She needs a mommy and I know I can contribute to her life. For my sake, for my daughter’s sake please don’t take my life,” Boswell said at the time.
Outside the court on Monday, her attorney Todd Lancaster said they were grateful for the decision not to impose the death penalty, for the sake of her family and her little girl.
When asked if he thought justice was served, Lancaster replied: “Was it a good thing I think that Bailey didn’t get a death sentence? Yes, I think that is a good thing. Whether we should have the death penalty. We’ve gone back and forth in the state. This appears to be a case where the state obviously sought a death sentence. Lots of resources and time were put in by the state and the defense. And we ended up with the same result as if we didn’t have the death penalty.”
Aubrey Trail has been sentenced to death for the 2017 murder of Sydney Loofe.
The 54-year-old missed much of his own trial — filled with details of his lurid sex and crime ring — having slit his own throat in court.
The body of 24-year-old Loofe was found in 14 different pieces in garbage bags dumped along a rural Nebraska road in 2017.
In a statement to the court, Trail recanted his earlier claim that she had accidentally died by erotic asphyxiation during a sex game, admitting that he had strangled her with electric cord, because he feared she was going to expose his Tinder sex cult, claiming she “freaked out” when she discovered the details.
“I had no doubt she would tell people if I let her go,” he admitted, per AP. “Sydney did nothing but threaten to expose my lifestyle and I killed her for it.”
He told her family in court that he wouldn’t apologize as “that would be an insult to you after what I’ve put you through. And I won’t ask for forgiveness. As I don’t believe there is such a thing.”
“I have done some terrible things in my life but this is the only thing I have ever done that I feel real regret about,” he added.
He told the judge before being sentenced to death: “To be quite frank and no disrespect intended to the court, I could care less what you do here to me today.”
The last time Loofe was seen alive was in a Snapchat selfie she took — captioned “ready for my date” — before she went to meet the couple she’d met on Tinder.
Among the evidence against Trail and girlfriend Bailey Boswell was video of them in Home Depot, buying the tools they would use to kill and dismember her hours before the date.
The trial had heard testimonies from other women who were indoctrinated into the cult: they said Trail claimed he was a vampire who could fly and read minds, and tried to encourage them to torture and kill others to gain similar powers; Trail had implied to investigators that he and Boswell — who was referred to as the “queen witch” of the coven — had drank Loofe’s blood.
He also encouraged the women to join his scheme of defrauding antiques dealers.
Passing sentence, Saline County District Court Judge Vicky Johnson said “exceptional depravity” needed to be proven for the death penalty to apply — and it was.
“Trail’s words and actions demonstrate he had no regard for the life of Sydney Loofe beyond his own personal pleasures,” she said.
Boswell, who could also face execution, will learn her fate when she is sentenced on June 30. She would become Nebraska’s first ever female death row inmate.
ORIGINAL STORY 6/25/2019 7:12 AM
A man accused of killing his girlfriend’s Tinder date tried to kill himself at his own murder trial on Monday.
Aubrey Trail, 52, and his 24-year-old girlfriend Bailey Boswell are charged with the first degree murder of Sydney Loofe, also 24. The Nebraska courthouse was thrown into chaos on Monday morning when Trail slit his own throat after listening to a witness testimony.
“Bailey is innocent, and I curse you all,” he shouted before slicing his neck with a concealed blade. A video of the incident shows deputies and court staff rushing to him amid horrified screams as the judge looks on.
According to the Omaha World-Herald, blood spilled from his neck as he fell out of the wheelchair he had been using.
He was rushed to hospital; one of his defense attorneys later confirmed he had survived and is expected back in court when the trial resumes on Tuesday.
After the shocking incident Judge Vicky Johnson ordered the jury to “disregard the outburst” and not consider it in their deliberations. She also warned them to “absolutely” not watch any media coverage of the incident. “I am going to order that Mr. Trail appear in handcuffs for the rest of the trial for obvious reasons,” she added.
Loofe was reported missing on November 16, 2017, two days after a date with Bailey, whom she had met on Tinder.
Video surveillance from November 15 shows Trail and Bailey buying items from Home Depot that authorities believe were used in the “dismemberment and disposal” of the victim, court documents show.
Before they were even arrested, the couple posted a ten minute video on social media, titled “our side of the story”, in which they proclaimed their innocence. But while in prison for an unrelated offense, Trail later called reporters, telling them he had accidentally suffocated Loofe in a sexual fantasy gone wrong.
He said he and Loofe were engaged in a consensual sex game with two other women — but not Bailey, as she was passed out from drugs in another room.
“It wasn’t supposed to go to the extreme it went, of course not,” he said. “It wasn’t meant that she was to die.”
“A life for a life — that’s the rules in my world,” he added. “I should be put to death.”
Both Trail and Bailey face the death penalty if found guilty. Her trial begins in October.