Trail waives right to preliminary hearing, Boswell granted more time

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LINCOLN, Neb. — Aubrey Trail and Bailey Boswell both appeared in Saline County Court on Tuesday for their election of a preliminary hearing.

At 11 a.m., Trail appeared in person after making a request to do so last week.

Trail decided to waive his right to the preliminary hearing, meaning the court does not need to prove probable cause before the case is sent to district court.

In turn, the case was bound over to district court. He will be represented by Benjamin and Joseph Murray.

Boswell appeared a short time later via video monitor, and her attorney requested more time to decide whether to waive or accept her preliminary hearing.

The request was granted, and Boswell is scheduled to appear in court next for her election of a preliminary hearing on July 24 at 11 a.m.

Last week, less than a day after the Nebraska Attorney General brought charges against the two suspects in the death and disappearance of Sydney Loofe, the duo appeared in county court for the first time.

Trail appeared first, around 11:30 a.m. He was advised of both his rights and the charges facing him, which include first-degree murder and disposal of human skeletal remains.

When asked if he understood the charges and the penalties possible, he replied that he did.

Boswell appeared via video monitor a short time after Trail. She also said she understood her rights, and the charges and penalties that she is facing.

Boswell will be represented by the Nebraska Commission on Public Advocacy, and is being held without bond.

Court documents that were unsealed last Tuesday revealed detailed information about what led up to Loofe’s death.

That story can be found here.

In addition, the Nebraska Attorney General's Office released the following statement regarding aggravating circumstances in relation to the death penalty:

“According to Nebraska law, a decision on the existence of aggravating circumstances doesn't need to be made until information is filed in District Court. Accordingly, the decision won't be made until that point in the proceedings.”

Nebraska law states the death penalty can only be imposed for crimes when the aggravating circumstances outweigh the mitigating circumstances.

An aggravated circumstance relates to the commission of an act that increases the degree of liability or culpability.

Mitigated circumstances are happenings which do not excuse the crime, but are out of mercy or fairness in deciding the degree of the offense.

If the the death penalty is pursued, a number of steps must be taken.

According to the supreme court of Nebraska website:

After a conviction in a death-penalty trial, the case moves to the sentencing phase where, among other things, jurors weigh whether there were aggravating circumstances that warrant the death penalty. The jurors make a sentencing recommendation which then goes to a three-judge panel, which must vote unanimously for the death penalty.

Nebraska’s three judge panel process:

The trial court makes a request to the Chief Justice for appointment of a three judge panel.

Once the request is received from the district court, the Chief Justice and the Clerk of the Supreme Court randomly select two additional judges for the three-judge panel from a statewide list of judges.

The judge originally assigned to the case serves as the presiding judge.

The Chief Justice’s office prepares the Order for Appointment and the order is available to the public via the Clerk of the Supreme Court. Occasionally there are adjustments to the judges who are assigned to the panel. Those changes are also maintained by the Clerk.
Hearings of the three judge panels are generally held in the same location as the original trial.

The names of the judges appointed to a three-judge panel may be requested through the Terri Brown, Clerk of the Nebraska Supreme Court.