WILBER, NE — Bailey Boswell is asking a three-judge panel not to sentence her to death for the sake of her daughter’s future.
Boswell addressed a court for the first time on Friday as part of aggravation/mitigation hearings. The hearings inform the panel, which will determine whether Boswell is sentenced to life in prison or death for her role in the killing and dismemberment of Sydney Loofe.
Boswell apologized to the Loofe family but the most emotional part of her statement concerned her five-year-old daughter.
“My daughter is the most important person in my life. I love her so much. Because of my actions and inactions, she and I will never spend time together outside of a prison. When she is old enough to understand why I’m in prison, she will have to live with the knowledge that her mommy was convicted of murder. Her friends will believe her mommy is a murderer. But I know I can still be there for her in some way. She needs a mommy and I know I can contribute to her life. For my daughter’s sake, please don’t take my life."
Sympathy for the family is one of the mitigating factors the defense is trying to build to encourage a life sentence. Boswell’s attorneys spent most of Friday trying to prove she acted under the domination of Aubrey Trail and under the influence of extreme mental and emotional disturbance, which are also mitigating factors.
Dr. Kirk Newring was called the defense’s “cleanup hitter” witness. He compiled a 39-page psych evaluation of Boswell in December and diagnosed her with multiple disorders.
“Bailey Boswell meets diagnostic criteria for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, cannabis use disorder, alcohol use disorder, stimulant use disorder specifier cocaine,” Newring said.
Newring said Boswell’s PTSD was caused by a verbally abusive coach, multiple sexual assaults and physical abuse from an ex-boyfriend. He said her PTSD made her vulnerable to be weaponized by Aubrey Trail.
“She doesn’t know who she is, she doesn’t know what’s safe. She knows that she’s been hurt and here’s a guy that says he’s taking care of her," Newring said. "The only solutions she’s had that have worked in the last few years is sex and drugs. Those are what she puts forth with Mr. Trail, and he uses that and I think that’s how we get here.”
Via rebuttal testimony, State witnesses showed Boswell initially connected with Trail because she was looking for a so-called sugar daddy. The witnesses testified Boswell traded phone sex for money while in jail and exchanged notes with Trail about their trial plans while in jail.
The attorneys will file their closing arguments by written brief by August 8th. It could be months before the panel decides on a sentence.