Saturday News, September 27
Life Sentence Handed Down
ROCKWELL CITY, Iowa (AP) - A judge formally sentenced a man to life in prison Friday for the killing of a Rockwell City police officer during a standoff last year.
Corey Trott, 33, was sentenced in the shooting death of officer Jamie Buenting, who was killed during a standoff at Trott's house on September 13th, 2013. Officers were trying to arrest Trott after an alleged assault. Buenting was near a house window when he was shot.
Four victim impact statements were read during the sentencing at the Calhoun County Courthouse in Rockwell City, according to the Fort Dodge Messenger.
A Wright County jury found Trott guilty of first-degree murder on September 5th after less than two hours of deliberations. The conviction carried a mandatory sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.
The trial was moved to Wright County at the request of defense attorneys.
Branstad 's Attorney's Might Have To Stop Representing Him
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Attorneys defending Governor Terry Branstad's administration against a discrimination lawsuit brought by a gay official have a conflict of interest and should be disqualified, the plaintiff's attorney said Friday.
Des Moines attorney George LaMarca and two associates cannot continue to represent Branstad, several aides and the state because each defendant now has competing financial and legal interests, attorney Roxanne Conlin argued.
Conlin is representing former Workers' Compensation Commissioner Christopher Godfrey in a lawsuit alleging discrimination, defamation and extortion.
Branstad, Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds and four aides are accused of trying to force Godfrey, a Democrat who is openly gay, to quit so the Republican governor could appoint his own commissioner. Godfrey resisted the pressure, saying he'd been confirmed by the Senate until 2015 for a job that is supposed to be independent.
Branstad cut Godfrey's pay by $40,000 after he refused to resign. The administration has said its actions were legal and that Godfrey's sexual orientation had nothing to do with them.
Four Families DREAM Of Group Home
WEST BRANCH, Iowa (AP) - Four Iowa families have purchased an old winery where they plan to hold enrichment programs for their children and young adults with intellectual disabilities.
The rural, 10-acre former home of Wallace Winery, which closed in 2009, has a house, a barn, another building and plenty of land for gardening and outdoor activities. The families are planning to eventually convert a farmhouse on the property into a residential facility for young adults when they're ready to leave their parents' residence.
They're laying the groundwork for what they're calling the Village Community, a place for people with intellectual disabilities to learn, work, and one day, live together, the Iowa City Press-Citizen reports.
Braley, Ernst To Square Off In Debate
(Des Moines)--Democrat Bruce Braley and Republican Joni Ernst will meet Sunday at Simpson College for the first of three, face-to-face debates between the U.S. Senate candidates. Ernst participated in dozens of joint appearances and debates during the G-O-P primary season, but Ernst says she's been "studying" this week to prepare for Sunday.
Braley rallied with Democrats in Marshalltown on Thursday, to tout early voting and he alluded to the stakes in the race.
Harkin, a Democrat, has held one of Iowa's U.S. Senate seats for nearly 30 years, but announced in January of last year that he would not seek reelection. Sunday's debate will give the candidates a forum to make their case directly to voters over the course of an hour. The candidates and their allies have been trying to sway voters this summer with a barrage of 30- and 60-second ads. An analysis by eight Iowa newspapers estimates nearly 14 million dollars has been spent on campaign advertising in the race over the past three and a half months. Braley jokes about the ads attacking him.
Ernst says she's withstood the barrage of negative ads and remains tied with Braley in nearly every poll taken of this race.
Sunday's hour-long debate will be broadcast live at 5 p.m. on K-C-C-I, the C-B-S affiliate in Des Moines, and livestreamed on The Des Moines Register's website.