One of three judges on a panel to decide whether Aubrey Trail is sentenced to death has recused herself.
Johnson County District Judge Julie Smith cited her work as a prisons system lawyer in helping to draft Nebraska’s controversial lethal injection protocol as the reason why.
Smith announced her decision to remove herself from the panel in a six-page order filed last week. Lancaster County District Judge Susan Strong has been appointed to replace Smith on the panel, which will decide whether Trail should get death or life in prison.
Trail was convicted of first-degree murder and other counts for the November 2017 death and dismemberment of Lincoln store clerk Sydney Loofe.
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