- Associated Press - Friday, August 8, 2014

FORT DODGE, Iowa (AP) - A judge will decide whether jurors will hear the confession of an Iowa man accused of killing a Rockwell City police officer last year after prosecutors and defense attorneys presented arguments Friday.

Corey Trott, 33, has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in the shooting death of 37-year-old Rockwell City Police Officer Jamie Buenting during a standoff at Trott’s house last September.

Trott’s attorneys say a special agent with the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation improperly questioned Trott two hours after he told a state trooper that he did not want to talk. Prosecutors say the confession was properly obtained.

The Des Moines Register (https://dmreg.co/1q1MHsC ) reports that Webster County District Judge Thomas Bice heard an hour of testimony on the issue Friday from law enforcement officers involved in the case.

Defense attorney Joseph McCarville told Bice that Trott’s decision not to speak with the state trooper showed he had invoked his right to remain silent. McCarville also questioned whether his client realized what he gave up by waiving his rights - that his confession could be used against him at trial.

The judge asked prosecutors to explain what they could point to to indicate Trott was aware of the consequences.

“I’m concerned about his understanding of the consequences of waiving and giving that statement,” Bice said.

But prosecutor Scott Brown, an assistant Iowa attorney general, said the judge shouldn’t take that into considering. He said police are required to tell defendants about the right to remain silent, but they don’t have to warn them about what might happen if they confess, he said.

Trott’s trial is scheduled to begin on Sept. 3. He sat silently during Friday’s hearing.

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