Sentencing could take months
A three-judge panel will decide the fate of Aubrey Trail, found guilty in the November 2017 death of Sydney Loofe, as heard in Saline County Court July 11. Trail waived his right to a jury hearing after being found guilty of first degree murder and conspiracy to kill.
The jury was set to determine if certain evidence was justifiable enough for Trail to receive the death penalty as his sentence, of which state prosecutors had previously called for. The jury has been officially excused from their duties. Now the panel will make the decision at a later date. Saline County Judge Vicky Johnson, who presided over the case, will be one of the judges.
Trail's lawyers, Joe and Ben Murray of Hebron, spoke with the media following the hearing outside the courthouse in Wilber.
Read what they had to say HERE.
Chase the Music honors Whisler at Fourth air show
Back at home in Seward and at the airport his grandparents help run, five-year-old Colton Whisler got to spend the Fourth of July at the airshow surrounded by planes and around a thousand attendees. At this airshow, Whisler got to be the first one to watch a choreographed flight made especially for him.
The Chase the Music organization, run by Clark Hodge, dedicates itself to create collaborations between composers and children battling critical illnesses. The organization works to form a bond between the child and the composer to create a unique performance that is solely for the child.
Whisler got to be paired with Garrett Hope, a music professor at the Hixson-Lied College at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
“I believe that Clark reached out to me initially in January or February. Then I was kind of thinking about the piece and letting it roll around in the back of my mind for about four or five months,” Hope said.
Whisler was diagnosed with Parameningeal Rhabdomyosarcoma (PRS), a type of brain cancer in October 2018. He had to almost immediately go through extensive treatment and after many months away in Memphis, Tennessee, he was finally able to return home to Seward.
“We told [the Whislers’] the story of how this piece came to be and why we think it’s important and how we hope to really just bless and honor the family and encourage them through this,” Hope said.
Hope was tasked with coming up with a piece that captured the true essence of who Whisler is as a person. Whisler’s love of airplanes eventually led to the creation of “Boundary Layer.”
Read the full story HERE.
Give blood: The American Red Cross will host a blood drive Saturday, July 13, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Living Word Lutheran Church in Seward. For more information, download the American Red Cross blood donor app, visit RedCrossBlood.org or call 1-800-RED-CROSS (733-2767).
Get spuds: The Utica Senior Center will host a potato bake Sunday, July 14, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. A free-will offering will be accepted, with proceeds to go to center operations.
Young organist: Ben Meyer of Seward will present an organ recital Sunday, July 14, at 3 p.m. at First Plymouth Church in Lincoln. The church is located at 20th and D streets. Meyer will play hymns, original compositions and other works. He is an eighth grader at St. John Lutheran School in Seward and studies organ with Dr. Jeffey Blersch at Concordia University. He plays regularly at Mighty Fortress Lutheran Church in Seward.