Attorneys file motions in Bisard case; trial stays in October
Suspended IMPD Officer David Bisard is fighting to keep evidence out of his trial for a 2010 fatal on-duty crash.
Prosecutors want to talk about Bisard's drunken driving arrest in April of this year during his upcoming trial for the 2010 accident. Bisard's case will move forward in Allen County because of pre-trial publicity in Marion County.
Nearly a dozen motions were filed in court Friday between the defense and prosecution. Those motions won't be argued until a two-day hearing in July, but we do know now that Bisard's trial won't happen until October, despite efforts to move it up.
Bisard is accused of driving drunk when his police cruiser crashed into a group of motorcyclists, killing Eric Wells and injuring two others in August 2010. Bisard was arrested again April 27 of this year when he crashed a borrowed truck in Lawrence. Officers at that scene found a half-empty bottle of vodka and tested the suspended officer's blood-alcohol content at .22.
At the trial, prosecutors want to show evidence that Bisard had a dangerous pattern of drinking and driving and that he knew how to cover up alcohol abuse. To do that, they filed a motion to be able to use Bisard's April crash and arrest involving drinking and driving as evidence in the upcoming case.
"We believe the defense may try to raise at trial the lack of obvious intoxication on the part of the defendant in the 2010 arrest. We believe the facts from the 2013 arrest are strikingly similar and therefore, if the defense were to raise the issue, we feel we should have the right to rebut it with the 2013 (arrest)," said deputy prosecutor Denise Robinson.
"To have that much alcohol in his system that time of the day, when he knew that he had to work, there's an alcoholism," said Mary Mills, who was injured in the 2010 crash.
Both prosecutors and the defense team filed a litany of motions in court Friday.
The defense wants to suppress alcohol evidence from the first vial of blood drawn from Bisard after the 2010 crash. An appeals judge already said that evidence is admissible, but the defense feels differently.
"I think only one aspect of that issue was decided by the appeals court and I'm not going to comment on the evidence. We'll deal with that in the courtroom," said defense attorney John Kautzman.
"If I were the defense attorney, I'd want to file a motion to suppress blood evidence in the case, but we believe the court of appeals is pretty clear in its ruling," Robinson said.
What is clear now is that the trial will not start any sooner than October 14. The defense had filed a motion to move it up, but because of schedules, the attorneys and the judge couldn't find a date that worked.
That means Bisard will stay in the Marion County Jail for five more months. Crash victims and their families will be waiting, too.
"It can't get here quick enough. The end can't come quick enough," said Wells' brother, Aaron. "I know that the community is safe from him, at least while he's being detained, and that itself means a lot."
The defense also requested Friday that the jury be sequestered during the trial. Kautzman said publicity is too great, even with the trial being moved to Fort Wayne.