WILBER, Neb. — A second young woman who fell into Aubrey Trail’s group testified Tuesday that she didn’t buy his act about witches and special powers but did believe they were serious about killing someone.
Trail and his girlfriend, Bailey Boswell, even talked about enlisting the young woman to help produce and sell a videotape of them torturing and killing someone, the woman said, testifying about a conversation in 2017.
“They said they would make $1 million to do it, then split it and go separate ways,” the woman said.
The woman’s testimony came as Trail's trial continued at the Saline County Courthouse.
Trail and Boswell, his 25-year-old girlfriend, are charged with first-degree murder in the November 2017 slaying and dismemberment of a Lincoln store clerk, Sydney Loofe, 24.
On Monday, a 22-year-old woman testified that she was recruited to join up with Trail and Boswell in activities that included group sex and stealing antiques for resale. The woman said she was told she could become the 13th “witch” in their group if she killed someone.
On Tuesday, a second woman, a native of Russia, told a similar tale of meeting Boswell via the Internet dating app Tinder and being asked to join the group.
The women's identities, which were revealed in open court Monday, were ordered not to be published by Saline County District Judge Vicky Johnson on Tuesday. Before the trial, Johnson had ordered that photographs and video not be broadcast of the two women, and a third woman yet to testify, to protect their privacy.
In that May 22 order, the judge also added: “This does not restrict the media from otherwise reporting on their testimony." On Tuesday, however, the judge imposed the additional restrictions on naming them.
One of Trail’s court-appointed attorneys, Ben Murray, tried to portray the revelations about witches and killing as a “play” that shouldn’t be taken seriously. On Monday, a woman testified that to become a “witch” in Trail and Boswell’s group, you had to kill someone and breathe their last breath.
On Tuesday, Murray asked the same woman if she’d read a Stephen King book called “Doctor Sleep.” In it, Murray said, characters talk about killing someone and “feeding on steam” or their last breath.
“So that was your fantasy?” he asked the woman.
“Yes,” she responded.
“But you never actually talked about how you’d do it?” Murray asked.
That’s right, the woman responded.
The Russian woman who testified on Tuesday said that she, too, was given a $200 weekly allowance by Trail shortly after meeting Boswell and being introduced to Trail.
She said she was more interested in earning money by selling antiques — a business she later learned entailed stealing some — than in “being intimate” with either of them. But she also testified that she had sex with Boswell as Trail watched and touched them, and also had sexual interactions with Trail.
She said she eventually left the group when Boswell and Trail began talking about killing a woman. She said she felt they were capable of killing someone outside their group.
Loofe's remains were found Dec. 4 and 5, 2017, scattered along country roads near Edgar, Nebraska, and wrapped tightly in black plastic trash bags.
Prosecutors maintain that Trail conspired for weeks to lure a young woman via the Internet for the purpose of homicide. Trail's attorneys, and Trail himself, have maintained that Loofe died accidentally, by strangulation, after agreeing to participate in a sexual fantasy involving choking to the point of unconsciousness.
Trail and Boswell both face the possibility of the death penalty if convicted.