Trail: 'I am the one that caused Sydney's death'
WILBER - After swirling rumors about whether he would or wouldn't, Aubrey Trail testified before the jury at his own murder trial Tuesday afternoon.
Trail waived his constitutional right to remain silent.
"We've discussed it thoroughly," defense attorney Joe Murray said. "Mr. Trail has freely decided to testify against our wishes."
Murray said Trail repeatedly expressed his wishes to testify for the last several months, despite their advice not to do so.
As for his two-week absence, Trail said he agreed with "85% of what the prosecution said," and saw no reason to be there during that time.
When discussing the night of Nov. 15, Trail admitted that several parts of his previous story had been fabricated.
"There was no sexual fantasy," he admitted. "There was no (snuff) video. There were no two other women there. That was fabrication on my part. When Sydney (Loofe) died in the house, it was me, Bailey (Boswell) and Sydney."
Trail revealed Tuesday that he first met Loofe in March or April 2017. He was at the N 27th St. Menard's in Lincoln, where Loofe was working as a cashier.
Trail noticed her crying, and asked if there was anything he could do to help. Loofe wasn't doing well financially, and Trail handed her a $100 bill.
Eventually, he had Boswell talk to Loofe about getting involved in their "A and B Antiques" business. Trail testified that he was recently accused of unlawfully taking $500,000 in a coin theft.
"I needed someone who could make calls and represent the business better," Trail said. "When I met Sydney, I saw an opportunity, because I could tell she wasn't doing well financially."
Trail paid Loofe between $100-$200 to make phone calls for him.
JoLana Randall and Cathy Judd, two desk clerks from the Grand Weaver Hotel in Falls City, said they saw Loofe with Trail and Boswell in the lobby in late-summer 2017.
Randall said she recognized Loofe from her tattoos. She and Judd claimed to have seen Loofe with Trail and Boswell 2-3 times at the hotel.
After about 3-4 calls, Trail wasn't satisfied with Loofe's work, and the two parted ways that same summer.
"Our relationship didn't end well," Trail said.
A couple months later, in November, Boswell came across Loofe on Tinder, and wanted to reconnect.
Trail said he allowed it, but he wanted to talk with Loofe first.
"I wanted to talk to her first, because it didn't go well the first time," Trail said. "If you're going to be with (Bailey), you're with me, and there are rules."
Boswell apparently talked to Loofe on their Nov. 14 date about getting re-involved with her and Trail's group.
"She told Bailey she'd think about it, and tell her on the next date," Trail said.
Trail then talked about his activities on Nov. 15 - when he bought a hacksaw, drop cloths, tin snips and other items from the Home Depot, and later the Aardvark Antique Mall.
Around 11:30 a.m. that day, Boswell Googled Loofe's Lincoln address.
"I wanted to talk to her," Trail said. "But, she wasn't home."
The two then journeyed to Menard's to try and catch her at work. Bailey didn't want Trail to talk to her that afternoon. She wanted to wait until her date with Loofe that night.
Still, Trail went into Menard's, looking for Loofe. Surveillance footage showed the two crossed paths near the entrance shortly after Trail came in.
"I turned and looked at her," Trail said, "because I hadn't seen her in a couple of months. I looked at her ass."
Trail and Boswell returned to Wilber that afternoon, and Boswell left to get Loofe around 5:30 p.m. They returned around 7:45.
When Loofe found out that Trail wanted to talk, she was nervous, but calmed down after "smoking weed and drinking some rum."
"Sydney was timid, and I played on it," Trail admitted.
That evening, Loofe's mother Susan had texted her repeatedly, but Loofe shut her phone off to avoid distractions.
The conversation started about Loofe getting back into business with Trail.
"I put a tobacco tin on the coffee table with $5,000 cash in it," Trail said. "I let Sydney take the cash out of it. I told her she could make that money in about 30-45 days."
Later that night, Trail said he brought up the idea of sexual activity with Loofe and Boswell. They apparently talked about what they liked doing during sex.
"Bailey said, 'I like when Daddy chokes me,'" Trail recalled. "Sydney was hesitant at first. She was worried that she wouldn't wake up."
Eventually, Trail said they all agreed on "a little fun." They went to the bedroom, where Loofe and Boswell had sex, and Trail stood nearby with a gray extension cord.
Boswell and Loofe were wearing fuzzy handcuffs, according to Trail.
The cord, Trail said, had a silk covering on it. He started choking Boswell first, and then switched to Loofe.
Trail claims all of the activity was consensual.
"It was choke-let go, choke-let go, choke-let go," Trail said. "After about 3-4 times in, that's when Sydney stopped breathing."
That was around midnight.
Trail said Loofe was "shaking and gagging" as if she was having a seizure. He removed the fuzzy handcuffs, and unsuccessfully attempted mouth-to-mouth.
"Did you think to call 9-1-1?" Murray asked.
"In hindsight, it would have been a good idea," Trail answered. "But, I'm a criminal. Who's going to believe Trail when he has a dead girl in his bed, and he says it was an accident? No one was going to believe that."
"I did it, and now I have to live with it."
Trail briefly discussed his criminal background prior to Nov. 2017. He had been previously charged on 4-5 felony counts, mostly dealing with fraud and theft.
"I stole 'em," Trail said, referring to the antiques he sold. "I'm a crook. I've spent the better part of 5-6 out of the last 10 years in prison."
Getting back to the night of the 15th, Trail said he spent several hours trying to figure out what to do after Loofe died.
"The way the apartment is set up, I knew I couldn't just carry the body out," he said. "We're surrounded by houses, there's two apartment complexes across the street, (Wilber-Clatonia) school is right behind us. I couldn't drive the car down to the door."
As discussed in previous testimony, Trail tried to put Loofe's body into a camelback trunk, but she didn't fit.
After a couple more hours passed, Trail used what he described as a "bow saw similar to a hacksaw" to dismember Loofe in the kitchen.
That was around 4 a.m. on the 16th.
"You didn't drain the blood, did you?" Murray asked.
"No," Trail said. "That was all bulls***."
Trail said he used towels and drop cloths to keep blood off the floor. After that, with Boswell's help, he cleaned the entire apartment with bleach.
Trail said he soaked the towels and cloths in a tub with about "2-3 gallons of bleach in it."
On the afternoon of the 16th, with Loofe's body in plastic totes in the trunk of Trail's Black Ford 500, Boswell started driving.
"We're panicking," Trail said. "We didn't know what to do. We had no set place. I was saying, 'turn here, turn here, turn here.'"
Trail said last June that the rural area of Clay County where he dumped the body was specially chosen in accordance with his religious beliefs.
He said then that he placed Loofe's body parts "in a line so that she can reincarnate."
That, also, was fabricated.
"I was making it up as I go," Trail admitted.
Trail and Boswell returned to Wilber, then left again on Nov. 17 with no plan. They met up with K.B. in Council Bluffs that night, and they eventually went to Grand Island for an apparent drug run.
On Nov. 20, with K.B. riding along, Boswell and Trail went back to the area of Clay County where Loofe's body had been thrown out.
"I put a body in a ditch and it was probably going to get found," Trail said.
They didn't locate everything, but Trail attempted to better conceal a couple of the bags.
This may explain why K.B. testified last week that she thought, for a long time, that she helped Trail dispose of the body.
"I thought I had repressed it," K.B. said. "I had scratches on my legs, and I couldn't remember how they got there."
After leaving Grand Island on Nov. 22, Trail went to Kearney. Then, back to Omaha, where K.B. left. Trail and Boswell then made several stops in Iowa before their arrest at the Windmill Inn and Suites in Branson, MO on Nov. 30.
"We knew it was over," Trail said. "We had no plan. We're just trying to spend as much time as we could together."
Trail was asked why he didn't come forward and explain what happened while he was on the run.
"We still thought they might not find the body and link it to us," Trail said. "I'm not one to admit to anything...just not how I'm wired."
Trail certainly made up a lot of things. What about that talk of witchcraft? The talk of killing and torture?
Trail said he, Boswell, A.H., K.B. and K.G. believed in "spiritual witchcraft and vampires" and talked about it often.
Trail said he and A.H. both read Stephen King's book Dr. Sleep - the sequel to The Shining, where witchcraft and torture are frequently talked about. Trail claims that's where most of that talk came from.
"I have different beliefs," Trail said. "I believe in reincarnation. I like what's considered to be weird stuff."
"Do you believe you can fly?" Murray asked almost sarcastically.
"No, Trail responded. "If I could, I wouldn't be here right now, Joe."
Trail also said a lot of the killing and torture talk happened during sex. He said it was a way for he, and the women, to live out some kind of fantasy, and get off during sex.
"We all have a dark side," Trail said. "I was just exploring that. Did I ever act on it? No."
"I killed Sydney," Trail concluded. "I didn't mean to, but I did it. I don't really care what happens, or what's decided. The last thing Syndey said to me was, 'Are you sure I'll be okay?' If you think the death penalty is worse than having to live with that, then I'll trade you those words, and if I did, I think I would have got the better deal."
A verdict is expected by the end of the week. The final evidence will be presented Wednesday, and then jury deliberation will begin after closing arguments.
Trail faces the death penalty if convicted of first degree murder.