WILBER — Aubrey Trail will stand trial in June for the killing of Sydney Loofe, a Saline County district judge said Thursday.
The 52-year-old, who has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and unlawful disposal of human remains, appeared in court and agreed to waive his right to have the trial sooner.
Jury selection would begin June 17, just over a year after the notorious "person of interest" in the 24-year-old Lincoln woman's death was finally charged by state prosecutors.
Investigators allege Trail and co-defendant Bailey Boswell, who he has described as his girlfriend, planned to kill Loofe, who went to their Wilber apartment while she was on a date with Boswell in Nov. 15, 2017.
Specifically, they allege Trail strangled Loofe with an electrical cord, though he has told investigators and reporters she died accidentally.
Her remains were found in rural Clay County on Dec. 4 and Dec. 5.
Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for both Trail and Boswell.
After court Thursday, Trail's court-appointed attorneys, Ben and Joe Murray of Hebron, said they had expected the case could take up to two years before it went to trial.
Joe Murray said he believes a June 2019 trial is realistic given the scope of the investigation.
Prosecutors have been turning over thousands of pages of evidence in the case to Trail and his defense attorneys, who are beginning to interview some of the state's witnesses for the first time.
On Thursday, Saline County District Judge Vicky Johnson approved the defense's requests to hire a pathologist and forensic anthropologist to review the case.
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She also approved a request for computer access so Trail, who is detained at the county jail in Wilber, can review the files.
Ben Murray had asked for TV or radio access for their client but withdrew the motion after he was granted computer access.
Trail is alone in his cell for 23 hours each day, Ben Murray said in a court motion, while other inmates not being segregated are free to leave their cells from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
They can watch TV, use the library or go to the multi-purpose room for recreation, he said.
But concerns for and about the 52-year-old prompted jail staff to put the accused killer in segregation, Murray said.
There's concern Trail — who has access to a "voluminous" amount of investigative documents turned over to his defense attorneys in the case — could try to communicate with Boswell, Murray said.
"And that as a result of the notoriety in this case along with specific threats (Trail) has received from other inmates, he believes that his safety will be at risk in general population," Ben Murray said.
Trail and Boswell have both been detained in the jail since their apprehension in Missouri in late November.
Since his arrest, Trail has spoken about his contact with Loofe and Boswell in several interviews to news reporters in the area.
The computer won't have access to the Internet, the Murrays said after court.
"We're hoping he has solitaire," Joe Murray said.
Boswell's case hasn't been set for trial, and her attorney is challenging the constitutionality of Nebraska's death penalty.
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On Twitter @LJSRileyJohnson.