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 District Court July 11. Trail waived his right to a jury hearing after being found guilty of first-degree murder and conspiracy to kill on July 10.
The jury was set to determine if certain evidence was justifiable enough for Trail to receive the death penalty as his sentence, for which state prosecutors had previously called. The jury has been officially excused from its 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.
"Obviously we are disappointed with the verdict," Joe Murray said. "But Trail seems to be accepting of it."
The verdict came a little before three hours of deliberation from the jury on July 10. Trail sat emotionless as it was read, and Loofe's family began to cry. The Loofe family said they will not comment until after Bailey Boswell, Trail's alleged conspirator in the murder, has her trial in October.
"His goal in the whole thing was making it clear that Bailey had nothing to do with it," Ben Murray said.
Both attorneys shared details on Trail's mindset during the trial and what exactly he slashed his throat with in court on June 24. According to Ben Murray, it was a razor blade wrapped up in a bandage.
Trail never gave an exact reason why he did it. They said that was one reason why they were not confident in a not guilty verdict.
"Once his throat was slashed, that's when we kind of knew," Ben said. "I was worried about what kind of impression that would have on the jury."
If the panel does not find any aggravators in the case, Trail will face life imprisonment instead of the death penalty. Coming to this conclusion could take months, according to both attorneys, as they have to refile motions and have litigation evidence reviewed.
"I think we did the best anyone could do for this man," Ben said. "We wanted a different outcome but we are glad it's over."