Jury seated in Trott trial

By PETER KASPARI

pkaspari@messengernews.net

CLARION – Opening statements in the first-degree murder trial of Corey Trott are scheduled for this morning after jurors were seated Tuesday afternoon.

Trott, 33, of Rockwell City, is accused of shooting and killing Rockwell City Police Officer Jamie Buenting on Sept. 13, 2013.

His trial was moved to Clarion following a change of venue request from his defense team.

The 14-person jury was seated around 3:30 p.m.

More than 100 people were in the jury pool. A group of 36 was selected to be questioned by both Assistant Iowa Attorney General Scott Brown and defense attorney Joseph McCarville. Throughout the day, 10 jurors were excused from that group and others from the pool were called to replace them.

Jurors were questioned about whether they knew any of the parties involved, if they felt comfortable serving on a jury at a first-degree murder trial, if they had previously served on a jury and if they had already formed an opinion on the case, among other questions.

Once the jury was seated, Judge Thomas Bice said court would be in recess until this morning at 9 a.m.

Bice asked jurors to listen to all the facts before making a decision.

“Give everybody a full and fair opportunity to present their case,” Bice said. “Keep an open mind and an objective mind.”

Trott allegedly shot Buenting, 37, during a standoff in Rockwell City that began on Sept. 12 and lasted through Sept. 13, 2013. When Trott wouldn’t answer the door at 502 Pleasant St. in Rockwell City, a tactical team responded to begin negotiations.

At 1:40 a.m., a gunshot was fired and Buenting was hit by a bullet.

He was pronounced dead at Stewart Memorial Community Hospital in Lake City.

Trott surrendered without further incident at 5:32 a.m. after the Iowa State Patrol’s tactical team began negotiations with him.

Buenting was a 12-year veteran of law enforcement and had been with the Rockwell City Police Department for eight years. He had previously been an officer in Manson and grew up in Pomeroy.

He was also a member of a regional Special Emergency Response Team and was a certified firearms instructor.

Buenting is survived by his wife and two children.