A judge ruled this morning that Corey Trott, 33, is fit to stand trial in September for the alleged 2013 murder of a Rockwell City police officer.
A judge ruled this morning that Corey Trott, 33, is fit to stand trial in September for the alleged 2013 murder of a Rockwell City police officer.
May 16, 2014



The man accused of killing a Rockwell City police officer in September is competent to stand trial even though he suffers from a "paranoid personality disorder," a district judge ruled this morning.

District Judge Thomas Bice based his ruling on an Iowa City psychiatrist's report, which concluded Corey Trott, 33, can defend himself against a first-degree murder charge despite the disorder.

Trott's defense attorney, Charles Kenville, of Fort Dodge, did not resist prosecutors' request this morning to resume the case, which had been suspended in February so that Trott could be evaluated at the Iowa Medical and Classification Center, a prison in Oakdale.

Kenville claimed at the time that Trott is delusional and paranoid and had refused to participate in his defense.

"Even though he has a paranoid personality disorder, he is able to understand the court proceedings," Kenville said in court this morning. "My biggest concern was whether he can effectively work with" his attorneys.

And Kenville said today that he recently met twice with Trott in jail and that the two conferred briefly before this morning's hearing, which indicates Trott will cooperate in the months leading to the trial.

Bice set the trial for Sept. 2, which is 11 days before the one-year anniversary of the shooting that killed officer Jamie Buenting, 37, during an eight-hour, overnight standoff with Trott in Rockwell City.

Officers had sought to arrest Trott in his house on Sept. 12 for the alleged assault of his 64-year-old mother, but Trott refused to comply. A Webster County tactical response team, including Buenting, surrounded the house.

Attempts to negotiate with Trott failed, and the team decided to enter the house. Buenting was shot in the neck with a rifle about 1:40 a.m. on Sept. 13 as the team, using a long pole, tried to pull down sheets that hung over the windows and blocked the view inside.

Buenting later died at Stewart Memorial Community Hospital in Lake City. He was married with two young children.

Trott surrendered three hours after the shooting and admitted to it when he was questioned by investigators, according to court records.

Trott's September trial was moved to Clarion in north-central Iowa due to pre-trial publicity that might have affected his constitutionally protected right to a fair trial.

He faces life in prison if convicted.