Defense to present case in Bisard trial

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The trial of suspended Indianapolis Metro Police Officer David Bisard continued Tuesday with fellow IMPD officers taking the stand in his defense.

Michael Darst told jurors he knelt with Bisard over accident victim Kurt Weekly, describing the officer as visibly upset and shaken, like he had been crying. He testified that he didn't see any signs of intoxication in Bisard.

Another officer was with Bisard while he was examined and said he did not notice glassy or bloodshot eyes, the smell of alcohol or problems with motor coordination or balance.

Defense attorneys want jurors to believe what witnesses saw, not what the state's evidence says. Numerous tests done on two vials of Bisard's blood have shown he was severely intoxicated that day. Prosecutors insist there were signs Bisard was drunk, but witnesses attributed them to the trauma of the deadly collision.

Defense attorneys expect to strengthen their case with expert witnesses challenging the accuracy and reliability of the blood alcohol tests.

Judge John Surbeck denied the defense's request for a directed verdict and also scolded defense attorney John Kautzman for not having witnesses scheduled to appear in court, which led to delays.

A directed verdict is one based on the judge's direction that the jury must bring a not guilty verdict because one of the parties has not proved its legal case. Judge Surbeck rejected Kautzman's request for a directed verdict.

Kautzman argued that the prosecution failed to establish a case, and that the August 2010 crash was no more than a tragic auto accident. The judge disagreed.

The defense expects to finish by the end of the week, and closing arguments are planned for Monday with jury deliberations to follow.