Bailey Boswell's attorney is seeking to move her trial out of Saline County, citing the flurry of media coverage about her and boyfriend Aubrey Trail in Sydney Loofe's death.
Todd Lancaster, Boswell's court-appointed attorney from the Nebraska Commission on Public Advocacy, made the request Friday.
Trying Boswell in Saline County would violate her right to a fair trial by an impartial jury as guaranteed by the Sixth and 14th amendments, Lancaster argued.
Boswell faces counts of first-degree murder and unlawful disposal of human remains in the 2017 disappearance of Loofe, whose body was dismembered and found in garbage bags in Clay County.
Her trial is set to begin in October.
Lancaster cited the intensity of local news coverage, noting that the Journal Star, Omaha World-Herald, Beatrice Daily Sun and Wilber Republican newspapers, along with local TV and radio stations, had reported hundreds of stories about the case before, during and after Trail's trial this summer.
"There is a pattern of deep and bitter prejudice in the venire," or jury pool, Lancaster wrote in the motion.
"The information revealed in the supplemental questionnaires in Aubrey Trail’s case, in the news stories, and comments section of news outlet internet sites, show an atmosphere of hostility towards the Defendant (Boswell)."
During Trail's trial, someone held a sign bearing Loofe's face and stood across from the courthouse where the jury could see it, Lancaster said.
He would expect the same thing to occur during Boswell's trial.
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Earlier this month, a jury deliberated for about three hours before convicting Trail of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder.
Prosecutors are seeking to add a conspiracy to commit murder charge in Boswell's case.
Loofe, a 24-year Lincoln cashier, had gone to Trail and Boswell's Wilber apartment while the women were on a date Nov. 15, 2017, according to investigators.
Prosecutors allege Trail strangled her, and Boswell helped plan the killing with Trail.
State prosecutors had not responded to the change-of-venue motion nor had Saline County District Judge Vicki Johnson ruled on the request as of Monday morning.
A hearing has been set for next month.
Boswell remains at the Saline County jail, where's she's being held without bond.
Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty in both Boswell and Trail's cases.
Following his conviction in Saline County District Court, Trail waived his right for a jury to consider the evidence the state says makes his case worthy of a death sentence.
Attorneys for Trail suggested the panel of judges was a better option for their client than the jury, which after three weeks of testimony and 900 exhibits wrapped up deliberations in the murder case in three hours.