Latest Bisard arrest may not affect 2010 case

David Bisard

Suspended IMPD Officer David Bisard is now in the Allen County Jail, awaiting a court hearing later this week.

Bisard was transferred from Marion County to Fort Wayne late Monday for the hearing related to the August 2010 crash that killed a motorcyclist on the northeast side of Indianapolis. He was being held in Indianapolis after being accused of drunken driving in a crash last month.

Prosecutors say the two cases wouldn't impact one another, but legal experts say that may not be the case.

"There is the legal realm and the practical realm," said Frances Watson.

A public defender for decades, Watson teaches the practical side of law at the Indiana University School of Law.

Bisard testifying in his own defense is now less likely. If he told jurors he doesn't drink and drive, he wasn't intoxicated the day his patrol car killed motorcyclist Eric Wells and injured two others and claiming blood-alcohol tests were botched or inaccurate?

"He could try to say that, but he would be making a mistake, a clear mistake, because that would open the door," Watson said.

That "door" would allow prosecutors to tell jurors about Bisard's recent accident and blood alcohol results investigators say were almost three times greater than the legal limit.

Attention and controversy surrounding the Bisard case made it unlikely, if not impossible, to find an impartial jury in Indianapolis, so the case was moved to Fort Wayne to escape the pre-trial publicity.

But Bisard's new legal problems are making the news there, which Watson says makes it "very tough" to find an impartial jury there.

"These given facts that a good defense attorney would want to keep from a jury, they will already know," Watson said.

After Bisard's second arrest, the Fraternal Order of Police stopped paying his legal bills. If a new attorney is hired or appointed, the trial could be delayed for months. Those factors together could increase the likelihood of a plea agreement.

"Yes, I would say it would increase the likelihood of a plea agreement. I don't know how much," Watson said.

Bisard goes in front of an Allen County judge Thursday for a bond revocation hearing. After the second drunk driving arrest, the Marion County prosecutor asked that he be kept in jail until the October trial.

Judge John Surbeck could order him held in either Indianapolis or Fort Wayne, or Bisard could be placed on house arrest with GPS and alcohol monitoring.

Prosecutors in Marion County say they will oppose that option.