Trail, who has made prior public statements that turned out to be untrue, recently said in U.S. District Court that Sydney Loofe was involved in a scam about an antique coin overseas.
Trail and his girlfriend, Bailey Boswell, are accused in the slaying of Loofe, a 24-year-old store clerk from Lincoln, who disappeared on Nov. 16 after arranging a date via Tinder with Boswell. The death penalty is being sought for both Trail and Boswell.
Loofe’s remains were found in a rural area near Edgar, Nebraska, on Dec. 4 and 5.
On Aug. 3, Trail, 51, and Boswell, 24, were sentenced to prison for their role in the fake coin scheme in which a Kansas couple were defrauded out of about $400,000.
During his sentencing hearing, Trail said prosecutors avoided letting the case go to trial to “ensure that the role and involvement of Sydney Loofe was never brought to light.”
Trail did not elaborate, but in a later phone call to the Lincoln Journal Star, he claimed that he had known Loofe for about a year and that he could prove that she was involved in the coin scam.
On Monday, after a court appearance for Trail, one of his attorneys said his defense team is delving into Trail’s claims about Loofe’s involvement in the coin scam.
“Obviously, that’s something we’re looking at,” said Joe Murray, one of Trail’s court-appointed attorneys.
Federal prosecutors have said a Hiawatha, Kansas, couple turned over most of their life savings to Trail and Boswell in hopes of purchasing a rare coin from an overseas seller. The time span of the scam was Dec. 3, 2015, to “on or about” Nov. 7, 2017.
U.S. Attorney Joe Kelly said Monday that federal prosecutors do not “confirm or deny” claims by criminal defendants, adding that “to do otherwise would invite more of the same.”
On Monday, Trail appeared in Saline County Court in Wilber, Nebraska, for pretrial motions in the first-degree murder case. He was granted permission to hire a private investigator to assist his defense and was granted access to additional evidence gathered by state and FBI investigators.
Trail has changed his story more than once in the course of the investigation into Loofe’s slaying. Initially, he and Boswell went on social media to deny involvement in her disappearance. Later, Trail claimed responsibility for Loofe’s death but said it was an accident.
State prosecutors, meanwhile, allege that Loofe’s death was deliberate and premeditated. Among their evidence is surveillance camera footage from a Lincoln Home Depot store of Trail and Boswell buying tools and supplies “believed to have been used in the dismemberment and disposal” of Loofe’s body, according to court records.