LINCOLN — A request by Court TV to provide live coverage of the murder trial of Bailey Boswell has been rejected.

Saline County District Judge Vicky Johnson on Friday denied the request, ruling to block any “instantaneous” coverage, as well as live-tweeting or blogging, by the media to reduce “security concerns” and help ensure a fair trial.

Boswell, a 25-year-old native of Leon, Iowa, could face the death penalty if convicted of first-degree murder in the slaying and dismemberment of Lincoln store clerk Sydney Loofe in November 2017. She’s also charged with conspiracy to commit murder and improper disposal of human remains.

Boswell’s trial will begin March 16 in Lexington, where proceedings were moved because of the extensive media coverage last summer of the trial of her boyfriend, Aubrey Trail. He was found guilty of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder, and he pleaded guilty to improper disposal of human remains.

Prosecutors allege that Boswell and Trail, who were living in an apartment in Wilber, Nebraska, conspired for several months to lure a young woman via social media for the purpose of homicide. Trail testified near the end of his trial that he choked Loofe to death accidentally during a “sex party” with her and Boswell.

Judge Johnson, in her order Friday, approved the photographing and videotaping of Boswell’s trial, but only for the purpose of recording and reporting later about court proceedings.

Nebraska allows cameras in the courtroom, but only upon approval by a judge of an “expanded media” request.

Controversy arose during Trail’s trial after the judge barred the media from photographing, videotaping or reporting the names of three young women who, for a time, had joined up with Boswell and Trail to steal antiques and engage in group sex. One of the women testified that Trail was a vampire and Boswell “the lead witch” in a “cult” of young women who could become witches by killing someone.

Boswell’s court-appointed attorney, Todd Lancaster of the Nebraska Commission on Public Advocacy, had objected to the request by Court TV to provide gavel-to-gavel coverage. He said allowing multiple television cameras and microphones into the courtroom would harm his client’s right to a fair trial.


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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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