WILBER — Aubrey Trail has pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree murder and unlawful disposal of human remains in the death of Sydney Loofe.
In a procedural hearing, state prosecutors formally notified the 51-year-old Wilber man they intend to seek the death penalty in the case.
The hearing yielded no new details on what investigators believe happened the November night Loofe, a 24-year-old Menards cashier from Lincoln, died.
State prosecutors declined to make additional statements outside court, but have alleged Trail has a history of violence and terrorizing behavior and that Loofe’s killing was exceptionally depraved so as to warrant capital punishment.
After the hearing before Saline County District Judge Vicky Johnson, Trail’s court-appointed attorneys said their client is ready to defend his case.
“There is no one who wants a trial more than Aubrey Trail,” Joe Murray of Hebron told reporters.
Loofe went missing Nov. 15 after going to Trail’s Wilber apartment while on a date with Bailey Boswell, whom Trail refers to as his girlfriend.
Her remains were found in garbage bags in rural Clay County on Dec. 4, and investigators believe she died of “homicidal violence” including strangulation with an electrical cord.
Trail has told investigators and reporters her death was an accident.
Alongside his co-counsel and son Ben Murray, Joe Murray described the lead-up to charges as a “spectacle.”
They were not sure if they would seek a venue change in the case, they said.
Ben Murray said he doubted the case would go to trial within six months based on the voluminous evidence.
So far, prosecutors have turned over more than 3,000 pages of police reports, which fills one banker’s box, he said.
They expect a dozen or so more boxes to be handed over in the coming months, he said.
Since being named a person of interest in Loofe’s disappearance in late November, Trail made numerous statements in social media videos and interviews with the news media about the case.
Defense attorneys always feel like they’re a little behind when a case reaches this stage, Joe Murray said.
“But we’ve been lapped,” he said.