Jury selection begins for trial of IMPD Officer David Bisard


Jury selection for the trial of Indianapolis Metro Police Officer David Bisard got underway about an hour late Monday morning.

Bisard walked to court two hours ahead of potential jurors and more than three years after an on-duty crash launched a criminal investigation against him.

"It is difficult to imagine it would take over three years to get to the trial after the accident," said Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry.

So far, ten jurors - five men and five women - have been seated from Monday's questioning, out of a pool of about 45 people.

Bisard is on trial for causing a crash in August 2010 that led to the death of Eric Wells and critical injuries to two others, Kurt Weekly and Mary Mills.

After enduring the ups and downs of a legal roller coaster, Wells' family is excited and anxious for the trial to get underway.

"For a parent, there is some anxiousness to bring things to an end," said Wells' father, Aaron. "We think this is the beginning of what we hope is an end and we can get our lives back started again."

If the jury of 12 people and four alternates is seated by Tuesday, opening statements could begin by Wednesday.

The trial of David Bisard on reckless homicide and drunken driving charges was moved to Allen Superior Court in Fort Wayne because of extensive pretrial publicity in central Indiana. Judge John Surbeck scheduled jury selection to begin Monday.

Dressed for court, Bisard greeted potential jurors with a simple "Good morning."

The morning began with Prosecutor Denise Robinson questioning the first group of potential jurors, which consisted of five women and one man. Only one of them had any knowledge of Bisard's case, which has dominated Indianapolis news for years.

"Where virtually everyone is aware of the circumstances of this case and, up here with the Allen County jurors, there is very few who know anything of the case," Curry said.

All six jurors questioned in the morning said they felt nothing prevented them from being fair and impartial. However, some of the potential jurors believe people in authority should be held to a higher standard.

The case is complicated with questionable police procedures, improperly handled evidence and the conflicting opinions of the experts.

Bisard's attorney John Kautzman asked the potential jurors to withhold judgment until all the evidence is heard.

Judge Surbeck has ruled two vials of blood showing Bisard was legally drunk hours after a fatal crash can be used against him at his trial. The vials have been the subject of a drawn-out legal debate in the more than three years since Bisard's patrol car plowed into the motorcycles stopped at a traffic light in August 2010.

"We knew we would get here eventually and it's taken longer than anyone would have hoped," Curry said.

Watch Eyewitness News throughout the trial for updates, and follow reporter Rich Van Wyk on Twitter.