WILBER, Neb. — During the first week of his murder trial, Aubrey Trail did not speak. On the first day of the second week, video shows, he tried to cut his own throat.
In between witness testimonies at the courthouse in Wilber, Nebraska, on Monday, Trail yelled, "Bailey is innocent, and I curse you all!" before slashing his neck three or four times, the Lincoln Journal Star reported. The 52-year-old and his alleged girlfriend, Bailey Boswell, 25, are accused of killing and dismembering Sydney Loofe, who police say had met the couple through an online dating app.
Saline County sheriff's deputies tried to grab the object from Trail's hands as he fell from his wheelchair, bleeding, the Journal Star reported. Judge Vicky Johnson immediately ordered reporters to stop filming, the report says, and cleared the courtroom of everyone except attorneys and deputies.
Trail, of Wilber, was pale and unmoving as emergency personnel loaded him into an ambulance to be brought to a hospital, the Omaha World Herald reported. His attorneys told television station WOWT that Trail may have used a piece of a razor blade to cut himself and that his injuries were not serious but required several stitches.
One of his attorneys, Ben Murray, told the World Herald that Trail was being released from the hospital Monday and would be back in court Tuesday.
"We still think we can get a fair trial," Murray told the World Herald.
Murray was not immediately available to respond to a request for comment from The Washington Post on Tuesday.
The trial is expected to resume Tuesday with Trail in handcuffs for what Johnson called "obvious reasons," the Journal Star reported. Johnson asked jurors to ignore Trail's outburst and the ensuing news coverage. She said she and an attorney for each side planned to talk privately with each juror Monday.
"It's asking a lot of you, but disregard anything you hear or see," Johnson said, according to WOWT. "Don't listen to or engage with anybody talking about the case."
Trail has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder.
Loofe, a 24-year-old clerk at the home improvement store Menards in Lincoln, Nebraska, had been telling her friends on Nov. 15, 2017, about a date she had planned with someone she met on Tinder.
She and Boswell, who went by "Audrey" on the popular dating app, had exchanged more than 140 messages over four days and planned to go on their second date that evening, according to a criminal complaint. Around 7 p.m., the complaint says, Boswell sent Loofe a message saying she was at Loofe's house.
When Loofe missed her shift at work the next day, her mother reported her missing. The landlord of the apartment where Trail and Boswell lived, meanwhile, told police she smelled a strong odor of bleach emanating from the basement.
Police say they learned that Loofe had gone on a Tinder date with Boswell, the criminal complaint says, and executed a search warrant at the basement apartment. There, the complaint says, they found that the walls appeared to recently have been cleaned.
Trail and Boswell skipped between towns in Nebraska, Iowa and Missouri, the complaint says, before police found them at a hotel in Branson, Missouri. On Dec. 4, 2017, police found part of Loofe's remains in garbage bags in rural Clay County, Nebraska, according to the complaint.
Security camera video shows Trail and Boswell at a Home Depot in Lincoln on the day Loofe went missing, buying supplies that prosecutors say the pair used to dismember Loofe's body and hide the remains.
Trail pleaded guilty this month to improper disposal of Loofe's remains, according to the AP, but he maintains that her death was an accident and that he tried to hide her body because he thought police would not believe him.
He called reporters after Loofe's disappearance to say that he had unintentionally suffocated her while she willfully participated in acting out a "sexual fantasy," the World Herald reported. Trail said Boswell was passed out on drugs and was not in the room when Loofe died.
"Try me. Charge me. Let's get justice for Sydney Loofe," Trail told the World Herald before he was criminally charged.
Trail previously told police that he had strangled Loofe with an extension cord and that Boswell had helped clean up the mess and get rid of Loofe's body, according to the criminal complaint.
Boswell pleaded not guilty last year to first-degree murder and unlawful disposal of human remains, NBC reported. She is scheduled to face trial in October, according to the World Herald.
If Trail and Boswell are found guilty of murder, the World Herald reported, they might face the death penalty.
This article was written by Marisa Iati, a reporter for The Washington Post.