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WILBER -- Before prosecutors charged him with Sydney Loofe's murder, Aubrey Trail told investigators, the attorney defending him against federal fraud charges was "screaming from the rooftops" for him to stop talking.

But Trail kept talking and Lincoln police investigators and FBI agents kept meeting with him as they searched for Loofe's body, and after, in an effort to find out what happened to her.

At a two-hour hearing in Saline County on Wednesday, Ben Murray, one of Trail's court-appointed attorneys, argued the statements he made to them shouldn't be allowed to go before the jury at his murder trial in June.

But what exactly Trail told them wasn't at issue at Wednesday's hearing.

Snippets of the meetings did come out, though.

Like how Trail had asked to go back to his cell at the end of a brief 4-minute meeting Dec. 19, 2017, two weeks after Loofe was found dead, when Lincoln Police Investigator Matt Franken asked him what happened to Loofe.

And how, FBI Special Agent Eli McBride testified, Trail had told them he would tell them the "whole story" after they charged him.

"Obviously this is a question of whether the statements in the waiver of Miranda were freely, voluntarily and knowingly given," Assistant Nebraska Attorney General Mike Guinan said.

He argued Trail not only knew his Constitutional rights, going over the waiver himself in one meeting, but he also showed "no desire to be anywhere other than talking to these agents, telling whatever it is he wanted to tell."

Guinan said: "We believe the record is abundantly clear that in each and every one of these instances, Mr. Trail was knowingly, freely and voluntarily engaged in these interviews."

On the other side, Murray argued that officers had some knowledge from the start that Trail had an attorney in Falls City, Doug Merz, and after mid-December knew a Lincoln defense attorney, Korey Reiman, had been appointed to represent him in the federal fraud case.

He said investigators made no attempt to reach out to either, who he expects would have objected.

Murray also argued that Trail's statements were made in exchange for promises of money, his medication and a move from a jail in Missouri, where he was arrested, to Wilber, all of which were delivered.

"I think a lot of that is just him trading stories for what ended up being a substantial amount of money," he said.

Murray said an FBI agent gave Trail and his co-defendant, Bailey Boswell, each over $1,000 to be put on their books at the jail.

"So it was their money that was returned to them?" Saline County District Judge Vicki Johnson jumped in to clarify.

Murray said the money had been in the hotel room when they were arrested.

Then he circled back, arguing that none of Trail's statements should be admissible because at all points he had an attorney who wasn't there.

But the judge followed up by asking if someone who is represented could waive the right to counsel.

Murray said he thinks they can, but he argued the record wasn't clear whether Trail's attorney knew of the meetings before they happened.

Johnson took the motion under advisement.

Trail is set to go to trial in June on charges of first-degree murder and improper disposal of human remains for the death of Loofe, a 24-year-old Lincoln woman who went missing after going on a date with Boswell Nov. 15, 2017.

Prosecutors allege Trail conspired with Boswell to solicit young women online, to recruit others to carry out a murder and to select Loofe as their victim.

Trail has told investigators and news reporters that she died at his hands accidentally.

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Reach the writer at 402-473-7237 or lpilger@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LJSpilger.

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Lori Pilger is a public safety reporter.

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