Defense Attorney Uses Witness Testimony to Argue Death Penalty

July 5, 2021, 4 p.m. ·

Boswell started crying after seeing the video testimonies from her family. (Photo by Lincoln Journal Star, via media pool)

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Friday morning began the final day of a three-day sentencing hearing in which the defendant will receive life in prison or the death penalty by lethal injection. Bailey Boswell, 27, was convicted of first-degree murder for the killing and dismembering of Sydney Loofe in 2017 along with Aubrey Trail.

During the mitigation phase, defense attorney Todd Lancaster brought several witnesses to the stand to argue his point that Boswell was not in her right state of mind at the time of the murder. Lancaster said Boswell, who was once a high school star athlete, was manipulated by Trail to be his accomplice. He said she was an easy target after enduring years of trauma from an abusive relationship, sexual assault, and diagnosed PTSD.

Forensic behavioral psychologist Kirk Newring who previously conducted a psych evaluation on Boswell was called to the stand as an expert witness. Newring said there is something about being victimized that victimizers, such as Trail, can identify and exploit.

Through video testimony, conducted by Defense attorney Lancaster, Bailey’s family made it clear they had negative feelings about Trail throughout the duration of their relationship. Bailey’s father Jeff Boswell told Lancaster he knew Trail was bad news from the beginning. 

A three judge panel will determine if Boswell’s involvement in the murder justifies death or a life sentence. The sentencing date will be released at a later date.