Judge decides to move Bisard trial
Indianapolis Metro Police Officer David Bisard will not go on trial in Indianapolis for the accident that killed a motorcycle rider and critically injured two others.
Thursday, Marion County Judge Grant Hawkins granted Bisard a change of venue citing extensive media coverage. Deputy Prosecutor Denise Robinson said she can't argue the point.
"The media's simply been too overwhelming," she told reporters gathered around her outside of the courtroom. "I can't afford to start a trial, get part of the way through it and then end up with a mistrial."
For two years, Officer David Bisard has faced a similar bank of cameras coming in and out of court. Thursday, Judge Hawkins emerged from an elevator to the same glare. Inside court, he began taking steps to move Bisard's case out of Marion County.
It was a clear win for Bisard and his attorney, who whisked out of court.
"You're going to get what you want?" asked Eyewitness News Reporter Sandra Chapman.
"Not going to be able to talk to you folks today," responded Bisard's Attorney, John Kautzman.
Robinson and Kautzman met with the judge behind closed doors to pick three potential counties and three potential judges to host or preside over the case.
The exact county and presiding judge won't be announced until February.
"I want David Bisard to have a fair trial. I would very much like for him to stand up and admit the truth as to what happened," said Aaron Wells, the father of Eric Wells, who was killed when Bisard crashed into a group of motorcyclists.
Two others, Mary Mills and Kurt Weekly, were also severely injured.
For two years, the elder Wells has waited for justice.
"It's there with you everyday. The time doesn't help. You just want time to heal and I don't see that beginning anytime soon," he said, welling up with emotion and stopping to compose himself.
Wells says the media has been a welcomed sight for he and his family by documenting everything from the problems with the blood evidence to the investigation. He believes no matter the location, the case will draw attention.
"You've got a police officer that did something horribly wrong and I think regardless of what county you're in, it's a shock to everybody," he said.
Robinson agrees there will be media, but believes a new location will offer something else.
"With the fact that it occurred in Indianapolis, while there will be media, I think it will be less personal in those communities where members will have to sit on a jury," she explained.
The four-week trial is expected to get underway next fall. The three possible venues are reportedly outside the reach of Indianapolis media and scattered across the state. The court is also trying to determine how to transfer trial records, because Indiana has 50-60 different case management systems in use across the state.
Meanwhile, Bisard's attorney is asking the Indiana Supreme Court to review a recent ruling by the Indiana Court of Appeals that now gives prosecutors the ability to use Bisard's blood to support alleged drunk driving charges.