Jury selection continues for Boswell trial

Day two of jury selection is underway for the trial of Bailey Boswell, who is accused of murdering a 24-year-old Lincoln woman in 2017.
Gavel

LEXINGTON Neb. (KLKN) – Jury selection continues in Dawson County for a second day as the trial for Bailey Boswell is expected to begin Friday morning.

Boswell is accused of the first degree murder of Sydney Loofe, a 24-year-old from Lincoln in November of 2017. Boswell’s boyfriend at the time of the crime, Aubrey Trail, was convicted of first degree murder in July of 2019.

Due to COVID-19, jury selection is being held in an old grocery store that has been made into a makeshift meeting center called the Dawson County Annex. Inside, potential jurors are seated in chairs spaced six feet apart and all wearing masks. Judge Vicky Johnson and her staff, as well as legal counsels for the state and Boswell are seated at the front of the room at tables draped in black sheets with microphones and legal notepads topping them.

Boswell herself is present for the jury selection process, as allowed by federal law. Dressed in business clothes and heels, with her hair up and makeup done, Boswell quietly observes the process, taking notes and sparsely conversing with Todd Lancaster and Jeff Pickins, her attorneys.

A group of 90 jurors were present Wednesday, and after a series of questions from both Judge Johnson and legal counsels, half  of them were slowly dismissed throughout the day. Thursday morning, the remaining 45 from Wednesday as well as 50 new people will undergo the same process until there are 12 remaining and three alternates. This is who will serve on the jury panel in the case.

“For most of you this will be the first time that you have been called up to preform this important job,” Johnson says, addressing the jurors. “After taking the juror’s oath, you will become, in effect, officers of the court. It is my duty to conduct the trial in accordance with the law, to maintain order and decorum, and to instruct you on the law.”

Judge Johnson begins the process by asking the prospective jurors about their age, health status, issues that may occur due to employment, and if they have heard anything about the case previously.

Few people are dismissed after the first round of questions based on impeding issues with their jobs or family, or if they are over the age of 65 and wish not to serve.

After the Judge’s questions, attorneys for the state as well as Boswell ask the potential jurors about relationships they might have with other jurors or anyone involved in the case. They are also asked about their views on certain topics, such as the death penalty, and if these views might hinder their ability to remain fair and impartial when presented with evidence.

Questioning of jurors will continue until there are 15 remaining, and is expected to be completed by Thursday afternoon.

Family members of Sydney Loofe, including her father and brother, are also present as jury selection takes place.

We have a reporter on the scene who will be providing updates on the trial as they are made available.

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