Prosecution alleges Trail dismembered his own story and killed Loofe intentionally
WILBER - After some brief testimony Wednesday morning, both sides rested their cases in the murder trial of Aubrey Trail at the Saline County Courthouse.
The state then proceeded with their closing argument.
Trail, 52, is accused of first degree murder in the death and dismemberment of Lincoln woman Sydney Loofe, 24.
Trail, and his defense lawyers, have been trying to prove over the last four weeks that Loofe's death was the accidental result of erotic asphyxiation on Nov. 15, 2017.
The state, meanwhile, contends that Trail and his girlfriend, Bailey Boswell, conspired to recruit and bait Loofe to their Wilber apartment for a premeditated homicide.
"Loofe was targeted," prosecutor Michael Guinan said. "Trail and Boswell worked as one mind, and seized on her."
Loofe met Boswell on Tinder in Nov. 2017, and the two had their first date on the 14th of that month.
On the evening of the 15th, Boswell picked Loofe up in Lincoln, and the two traveled to Wilber together.
"Sydney Loofe got in that car and sealed her fate," Guinan said.
According to his testimony Tuesday, Trail said he first met Loofe at Menard's in the spring of 2017, and recruited her to help him make phone calls in a fraud case involving his antique business.
After a falling out that summer, Trail said Boswell came across Loofe on Tinder in November and wanted to reconnect. Trail, however, wanted to talk with Loofe first.
"If you're involved with (Bailey), you're involved with me," Trail said. "And with me, there are rules."
Guinan said Wednesday that evidence shows Loofe had no idea who Trail or Boswell were until Nov. 14-15.
"It's obvious (Loofe) didn't know them," Guinan argued. "If you look on the surveillance video at Menard's on the 15th, Loofe doesn't recognize (Trail), and he makes no effort to stop her."
"How could (Loofe) not know who Bailey was on Tinder, if she had supposedly met her six months prior, and was having sex with her? She had no idea who (Boswell) was before Nov. 14."
Guinan also pointed to the purchases Trail and Boswell made at a Lincoln Home Depot and a Wilber Dollar General during the day on the 15th.
Hacksaw, spare blades, tin snips, drop cloths, trash bags and bleach.
"That's how Boswell prepared for her date (with Loofe)," Guinan said. "Trail said (Tuesday) these were good items to use on antiques...but, they're better for cutting up a body."
On the night of the 15th, Trail claimed he spoke with Loofe for a couple hours about getting re-involved in his business.
After awhile, Trail said he brought up the idea of sexual activity with both Loofe and Boswell.
"We all agreed on a little fun," Trail said, alleging all sexual activities with the two women were consensual.
After Boswell and Loofe had sex in the bedroom, Trail says he took a gray extension cord with a silk covering to perform choking on Boswell first, and then Loofe.
"Bailey liked being choked during sex," Trail said. "Loofe was more hesitant. She was timid, and I played on that."
Trail says the last words Loofe said to him were, "Are you sure I'll be okay?"
Shortly after choking Loofe, Trail said she stopped breathing shortly afterward around midnight that night.
He unsuccessfully performed mouth-to-mouth, and then panicked. Trail didn't call 9-1-1, because he didn't think that law enforcement would believe Loofe's death was accidental, given his criminal background.
Trail said he'd previously faced 4-5 felony charges related to fraud and theft, again stemming from his antiquing business.
Guinan, however, believes that Loofe died about 40 minutes after arriving around 8 p.m. on the 15th.
He pointed to the fact that Loofe's phone permanently shut off shortly after getting to Wilber, and it was so smashed, the FBI couldn't retrieve any sort of data from it.
He also contends that Loofe died on the living room floor, and not in the bedroom as Trail claimed, pointing to a large bleach spot later found on that floor.
"One of the charges against Mr. Trail is conspiracy (to commit a felony)," Guinan told the jury. "This was a two-person job. In conspiracy, it takes two to tango. She was at their mercy."
After Trail realized that he couldn't take Loofe's whole dead body out of his apartment without being spotted, he used what he described as a "curved saw similar to a hacksaw" to dismember Loofe in the kitchen.
Trail said he and Boswell then bleached down the entire apartment. He also said that he soaked the drop cloths and towels used to clean up the blood in a tub with 3-4 gallons of bleach and water in it.
"Why would you need all that bleach?" Guinan asked. "You wouldn't go through that much bleach in a year."
Subsequent searches of Trail and Loofe's apartment by law enforcement turned up very little DNA evidence.
"They did that by design," Guinan pleaded. "Loofe wasn't alive long enough to leave any DNA there. They went to extreme lengths to clean that apartment."
On the afternoon of the 16th, Boswell drove Trail out to rural Clay County, where he disposed of Loofe's remains, dumping trash bags in roadside ditches.
"Like it was some kind of garbage," Guinan noted.
Boswell and Trail were arrested at the Windmill Inn and Suites in Branson, MO on the morning of Nov. 30.
Trail did not admit responsibility or involvement until Feb. 2018, and didn't admit until Tuesday that many elements of his original story were fabricated.
"There was no sexual fantasy per se," Trail said. "There were no two other women there. That was total fabrication on my part."
Trail also claimed to have made up the fact that he drained Loofe's blood, and disposed of her body in a specific location in Clay County, so that she may reincarnate, according to his religious beliefs.
"That was total bulls***," he said. "We were panicking. We just drove."
Guinan seized on that inconsistency.
"We witnessed history (Tuesday)," Guinan concluded. "We watched Trail dismember his own story. This was not a sexual fantasy gone wrong. It was a conspired murder gone right. Executed to a T."