LINCOLN — A judge has taken under advisement a motion by slaying suspect Bailey Boswell, who is arguing that the state’s capital punishment statutes are unconstitutional.

Boswell and her 52-year-old boyfriend, Aubrey Trail, could face the death penalty if convicted in connection with the slaying and dismemberment of Lincoln store clerk Sydney Loofe.

On Monday, Boswell was in Saline County District Court with her court-appointed lawyers, who argued that Nebraska’s death penalty statues should be tossed out as unconstitutional.

Among the arguments raised by Todd Lancaster of the Nebraska Commission on Public Advocacy were that the decision to seek the death penalty is arbitrary, because state statutes give no guidance to prosecutors and that the nation’s “evolving standards of decency” are such that execution is cruel and unusual punishment.

Saline County District Judge Vicky Johnson took the arguments under advisement after a brief court hearing. She gave state prosecutors until Oct. 1 to file a written response.

Boswell, 24, is charged with first-degree murder and improper disposal of a body in connection with Loofe’s slaying. Loofe’s body was found in plastic bags near Edgar, Nebraska, about three weeks after she went on a date arranged online with Boswell.

Boswell and Trail were then living in a basement apartment in Wilber, Nebraska, and were financing a lifestyle that included trips to casinos and vacation resorts by selling and buying antiques, at times using bad checks or fraud. The pair were recently convicted in federal court of scamming a Kansas couple out of $400,000 in a scheme to buy a rare coin overseas. Boswell was accused of using a bad check to purchase antiques in Pennsylvania.

Trail, who has a long criminal record, has told reporters that he was responsible for Loofe’s death and that Boswell was not in the room when it happened.

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Reporter - Regional/state issues

Paul covers state government and affiliated issues. He specializes in tax and transportation issues, following the governor and the state prison system. Follow him on Twitter @PaulHammelOWH. Phone: 402-473-9584.

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