WILBER, Neb. — Aubrey Trail, accused in the slaying of Lincoln store clerk Sydney Loofe, has been determined to be mentally competent to stand trial.

Saline County District Judge Vicky Johnson made the ruling Wednesday during a brief court hearing after reviewing a competency evaluation by a psychiatrist, Dr. Klaus Hartmann of the Lincoln Regional Center.

The ruling keeps Trail, 52, on track to stand trial in June 2019.

The evaluation was sealed from public view.

Trail’s attorneys, Ben and Joe Murray of Hebron, said their client seemed to be in better spirits after being moved from solitary confinement to a general population cell at the Saline County Jail.

Trail, according to Ben Murray, has also been active in trying to help his defense.

Trail and his 24-year-old girlfriend, Bailey Boswell, are charged with first-degree murder and illegal disposal of a body in the slaying and dismemberment of Loofe.

Loofe, a native of Neligh, Nebraska, disappeared a year ago after arranging a date over the Internet with Boswell. Her body was found in early December near Edgar, Nebraska.

No trial date has been set for Boswell. The state is seeking the death penalty for both Boswell  and Trail.

Trail, in calls to reporters, has said that he was responsible for Loofe’s death but that it was an accident. Boswell, he said, was not in the room when the slaying occurred, but helped dispose of Loofe’s body.

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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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