WILBER, Neb. (KMTV) — A jury found Aubrey Trail guilty of First Degree Murder in the 2017 killing of Sydney Loofe Wednesday. The verdict came after jurors deliberated for about two and a half hours. On Thursday, a second phase of the trial will begin to determine if Trail's action qualifies for the death penalty.
The Loofe family reacted on Facebook saying: "Justice has been served. Thank you Lord!" Before the verdict, the family posted: "Thank you for the prayers that our family and friends have received during the trial. Your love and support has been felt and is much appreciated."
Prosecutors argued that Trail and Bailey Boswell strangled Sydney Loofe to death and dismembered her body in the living room of Trail's Wilber apartment.
Prosecutors said Trail and Boswell went on Tinder to meet Loofe and planned killing her in November 2017. They testified about how the pair stalked Loofe and bought the tools to kill her before Loofe was supposed to go on a date with Boswell.
During the trial, the prosecution presented evidence including phone records, surveillance video, and pictures from the 17 crime scenes in ditches across Clay County where investigators found Loofe's remains.
Witnesses including Trail's so-called girls testified in the case. All three women talked about having sexual encounters with both of them. They learned Boswell was in an open relationship with Trail. The women testified that they were told they are part or could be part of Trail's witchcraft.
Trail claimed he and Bailey met Loofe in March 2017 and paid her to be part of his illegal activity because she needed money. Trail had claimed Loofe died accidentally during rough sex acts involving choking.
The defense argued authorities had no evidence that Trail killed Loofe in his apartment.
Witnesses also testified Trail and Boswell went gambling just days after investigators say they dumped Loofe's body.
Trail initially told investigators he knew nothing of what happened to Loofe. But, after investigators learned more, like finding her dismembered body, he changed his story. Trail said he paid Loofe $5,000 to be part of a sexual fantasy.
FBI investigator Mike Maseth testified that Trail said they (the women) provided him with $15,000 and he would then find a willing participant to engage in rough sex and choking.
Trail had been absent from trial in Saline County for more than two weeks since his June 24 outburst where he slashed his own neck in trial.
Trail returned to trial on July 9th with large scars on his neck. He claimed that there were no other women and no one paid $15,000 for a sexual fantasy.
But, prosecutors maintained the murder was deliberate and was no accident.
Boswell is awaiting trial, which is scheduled to begin in October. She has entered a plea of not guilty in the killing of Sydney Loofe.
You can find all of our coverage of the Trail trial at: