LINCOLN — Aubrey Trail, who is already charged with first-degree murder in the slaying and dismemberment of a Lincoln store clerk, now faces another criminal charge: conspiracy to commit murder.

On Thursday, state prosecutors filed a request to add the additional criminal charge, alleging that Trail, 52, conspired with his then-girlfriend, Bailey Boswell, from July through November 2017 to solicit young women through social media, recruit others to commit homicide and “select a victim to murder.”

A check of court records on Friday indicated that no new charges have been filed against Boswell.

Trail and Boswell, 25, already face the possibility of the death penalty if convicted in the death of 24-year-old Sydney Loofe, who disappeared after arranging a date with Boswell via the Internet dating app Tinder on Nov. 15, 2017.

Loofe’s body, cut into several pieces and wrapped in plastic bags, was found three weeks later in a rural area near Edgar, Nebraska, after an extensive search by FBI, state and local law enforcement.

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Trail, in calls to The World-Herald and other media, claimed that he was responsible for Loofe’s death, but that it was an accidental strangulation during the playing out of a sexual fantasy. He said that Boswell was not present, but that she later helped to clean up the crime scene and dispose of Loofe’s body.

Authorities have already said that they have surveillance video of Trail and Boswell buying equipment at a Lincoln hardware store that could be used to dismember a body. Loofe was still alive and had not yet gone to work on Nov. 15 when the pair was captured on video buying the supplies.

Conspiracy to commit first-degree murder is a Class II felony, punishable by one to 50 years in prison. Besides first-degree murder, which carries a life sentence or the death penalty, Trail and Boswell are also charged with improper disposal of a body, which carries a potential prison sentence of two years.

Mike Guinan of the Nebraska Attorney General’s Office, which is the lead prosecutor in the case, also filed a motion requesting a court hearing on the new criminal allegation, but to also offer evidence of motive and preplanning of the slaying.

Ben Murray, a Hebron defense attorney representing Trail, said Friday that he was not surprised by the additional charge. He said that it would not substantially change the trial of his client, which is scheduled to begin June 17 at the Saline County Courthouse in Wilber, where Trail and Boswell shared an apartment.

A spokeswoman for the Nebraska Attorney General’s Office declined to comment on Friday.

Along with the request to file a new criminal charge, state prosecutors listed about 500 potential witnesses for the trial. They included clerks at antique stores, where Trail and Boswell traded for antiques, sometimes with bad checks; clerks at motels and casinos, where the pair allegedly spent their money; a psychic; two ex-wives of Trail; and dozens of FBI agents and local law enforcement officers who aided in the investigation and search.

Not named as a potential witness was Boswell, a former basketball star from Leon, Iowa, who authorities have said has not made any statements to law enforcement.

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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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