WILBER, Neb. — State prosecutors said Wednesday they’ve learned new information about how convicted killer Aubrey Trail was able to obtain a razor blade and slash himself during his trial last summer.

During a brief court hearing, prosecutors asked Saline County District Judge Vicky Johnson to consider the new evidence — submitted nearly five months after the trial concluded — as she considers whether to grant Trail a new trial.

Mike Guinan, an assistant Nebraska Attorney General, declined to detail the new evidence, saying it was sensitive information that could affect jail and courthouse security.

Trail’s defense attorney, Ben Murray of Hebron, said the new evidence could bolster Trail’s request for a new trial if it shows that Saline County jailers knew that Trail was planning a suicide attempt or that he had somehow obtained a razor blade “and maybe had a duty to tell somebody.”

Midway through his trial and during a brief break as a new witness was entering the courtroom, Trail produced a razor blade and began rapidly slashing the side of his neck, shocking onlookers.

He was rushed to the hospital, where he received several stitches to close the bloody wound. Trail subsequently missed several days of his trial.

It was not made clear during the trial how Trail, who has served two previous terms in prison, was able to obtain a razor blade while housed at the Saline County Jail.

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The outburst prompted Murray to file requests for a mistrial and a new trial, arguing that the purported suicide attempt had prejudiced the jury. Trail was ultimately found guilty of first-degree murder and improper disposal of human remains in the slaying of Lincoln store clerk Sydney Loofe.

Prosecutors have said the slashing was staged in an attempt to gain attention.

Past court decisions have found that a defendant cannot cause his own mistrial, so if the new evidence shows that Trail planned the event, that would be important.

Judge Johnson granted a prosecution motion to submit depositions from the county sheriff and jailers under seal, outside of the public’s view, for security reasons.

She said she’d consider the new information in ruling on the motion for a new trial.

Trail, 53, attended Wednesday’s hearing dressed in orange jail clothing and sitting in a wheelchair. He has suffered a couple of strokes and heart attacks while imprisoned, according to court records.

Trail faces the death penalty for first-degree murder and is awaiting a sentencing hearing to determine whether the crime warrants capital punishment.

He was convicted in the November 2017 disappearance of Loofe, whose dismembered body was found in plastic bags along a remote Clay County road.

Trail’s girlfriend and partner in scams involving antiques, Bailey Boswell, has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder charges and is scheduled to stand trial in March. Her trial was moved to Dawson County, in central Nebraska, in hopes of seating an impartial jury there.

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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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