WILBER, Neb. — Bailey Boswell, uttering three “Yes, ma’ams” to a county judge, waived her right Tuesday to a preliminary hearing in connection with the slaying of Lincoln store clerk Sydney Loofe.

Left unanswered was whether Boswell, 24, will face the possibility of the death penalty like her boyfriend and co-defendant, 51-year-old Aubrey Trail.

Boswell and Trail, who were living in an apartment in this southeast Nebraska farm town, are charged with first-degree murder and improper disposal of a body in connection with Loofe’s death.

At Tuesday’s hearing, Boswell, wearing an orange jail jumpsuit and shackled at her waist and ankles, told Saline County Judge Linda Bauer that she understood her right to a preliminary hearing but was waiving that right. Three times she responded “Yes, ma’am” in a quiet tone.

Loofe, 24, disappeared in November after arranging a date using the Tinder app with Boswell. Loofe’s dismembered body was found three weeks later, after extensive searches by the FBI and local law enforcement, in several black plastic bags scattered in a rural area about an hour’s drive west of Wilber.

Prosecutors have notified Trail that they are seeking the death penalty for him, alleging that the grisly nature of the crime and his criminal background of violent acts warrant it.

The Nebraska Attorney General’s Office, which is leading the prosecution, will have to reveal its intentions about whether to seek capital punishment for Boswell before her first appearance in Saline County District Court on Aug. 6.

Trail, in phone calls to members of the news media, has claimed that he alone was responsible for Loofe’s death. He maintained that Boswell was not in the room when Loofe died of accidental suffocation. He told law enforcement, however, that Boswell did help clean up the crime scene and dispose of Loofe’s body.

Authorities have said surveillance cameras on Nov. 15 captured Boswell and Trail purchasing equipment from a Lincoln hardware outlet that were believed to be used in the dismemberment and disposal of Loofe’s body. That was one day before Loofe was reported missing.

A check of Boswell’s cellphone records also placed her near where Loofe’s remains were found Nov. 17.

Boswell, a former high school basketball standout from Leon, Iowa, recently entered a guilty plea to federal charges that she and Trail defrauded a Hiawatha, Kansas, couple out of nearly $400,000 in a fake effort to buy a rare coin overseas. The two are scheduled to be sentenced on that charge Aug. 3 in U.S. District Court in Lincoln.

Boswell also was charged in Pennsylvania with passing a bad check worth $28,000 at an antique auction in April.

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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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