WILBER, Neb. (AP May 9) – A judge has rejected a defendant’s motion to see any communications that might show whether Nebraska’s governor is behind the prosecutors’ decision to seek the death penalty for the defendant.

Lawyers for 52-year-old Aubrey Trail had filed a discovery motion last month in Saline County District Court, seeking documents regarding communications between prosecutors and any members of Gov. Pete Ricketts’ office about the death penalty in criminal cases and especially in Trail’s case and that of his co-defendant, Bailey Boswell.

The motion says Ricketts and his family spent heavily in support of a referendum to reinstate the death penalty after the Legislature voted to abolish it in 2015.

The judge ruled Wednesday that Trail’s request was premature because Trail has yet to be convicted.

Trail and Bailey Boswell are accused of killing 24-year-old Sydney Loofe of Lincoln in November 2017, dismembering her body and dumping the remains in rural Clay County.