Boswell Avoids Death Sentence, Receives Life Sentence For Sydney Loofe Murder

Nov. 8, 2021, 11:50 a.m. ·

Bailey Boswell at sentencing hearing
Saline County deputies escort Bailey Boswell from court after receiving a life sentence for murder. (Photo: Lincoln Journal Star)

Bailey Boswell, accused of murdering 24-year old Sydney Loofe of Lincoln, will spend the rest of her life in prison.

Bailey Boswell sentencing hearing in Saline District Court
Prosecutors (right) listen as Judge Vicki Johnson reads the sentencing order. (Photo: Lincoln Journal Star)
Judge Vickie Johnson
District Court Judge Vicki Johnson presides during the Boswell sentencing hearing. (Photo: Lincoln Journal Star)

During a sentencing hearing Monday in Saline District Court, she narrowly escaped the death penalty when the three-judge panel disagreed on whether her role justified being executed.

Her partner, Aubrey Trail, was sentenced in the same case in June.

Boswell arrived at her sentencing hearing in an orange prison jumpsuit accompanied by two sheriff's deputies, her hands and ankles locked with shackles.

In Nebraska, a three-judge panel determines if a capital murder case meets the criteria for a sentence of death. District Court Judge Vickie Johnson presided.

For nearly an hour, the judge read from the sentencing order, reviewing the tangled and sordid narrative involving recruiting of women for con games, sex, and discussion of murder and torture.

It all led to the day in 2017 when Sydney Loofe responded to a message on the dating app Tinder. Loofe connected with Boswell, unaware the woman was conspiring with Trail to torture and kill her in an apartment in Wilber, Nebraska. The summary read by Judge Johnson made the case Boswell had not been manipulated by Trail.

The statement read, in part, “relishing a murder is evidence of a mind that is totally and senselessly bereft of any regard for human life. Boswell’s actions and words demonstrate she had no regard for the life of Sydney Loofe beyond her own personal pleasure.”

It appeared for a time Boswell was in route to become the first woman condemned to Nebraska’s death row. However, only Judge Johnson and Lancaster District Judge Darla Ideus signed on to the full-length sentencing document.

District Judge Peter Bataillon
District Judge Peter Bataillon reads his dissent during the Boswell sentencing. (Photo: Lincoln Journal Star)
Sydney Loofe's family attended the Bailey Boswell sentencing hearing.
Members of Sydney Loofe's family sit quietly listening to the judge read the sentencing order. (Photo: Lincoln Journal Star)

Douglas County District Judge Peter Bataillon dissented. Reading his own brief statement off microphone he stated he“could not find beyond a reasonable doubt” a basis for the prosecutor’s claim that this homicide met the state’s legal criteria to justify an execution.

With a unanimous decision required, Boswell received a life sentence without chance of parole.

Throughout, Boswell remained silent and passive. Her defense attorney, Todd Lancaster, said Boswell was grateful for the ruling for the sake of her family and daughter.

Sydney Loofe’s family, sat silently in the front row during the hearing. There was no visible reaction to the sentence. They left the courthouse without comment.

Douglas County District Judge Peter Bataillon dissented. Reading his own brief statement off microphone he stated he“could not find beyond a reasonable doubt” a basis for the prosecutor’s claim that this homicide met the state’s legal criteria to justify an execution.

With a unanimous decision required, Boswell received a life sentence without chance of parole.

Throughout, Boswell remained silent and passive. Her defense attorney, Todd Lancaster, said Boswell was grateful for the ruling for the sake of her family and daughter.

Sydney Loofe’s family, sat silently in the front row during the hearing. There was no visible reaction to the sentence. They left the courthouse without comment.

Bailey Boswell led into Saline District Court for her sentencing.
Boswell, shackled and in handcuffs, passes in front of members of her victim's family. (Photo: Lincoln Journal Star)