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Indy police officer loses 3 court bouts

Blood vials ruled admissible; awaits trial in crash death

Three court rulings by Allen Superior Court Judge John Surbeck went the way of the prosecution in the drunken driving case of disgraced Indianapolis police officer David Bisard.

After a marathon hearing last week on issues related to the admissibility of evidence – including the vials of blood taken after a fatal car crash – Surbeck’s rulings Tuesday afternoon move the case closer to its month-long trial set to begin in the middle of next month.

Suspended from the Indianapolis Metro Police Department, Bisard, 39, is awaiting an Oct. 14 trial on charges of reckless homicide, operating a vehicle while intoxicated causing death and criminal recklessness. The charges stem from a 2010 fatal wreck in which Bisard’s squad car crashed into two motorcycles stopped at a traffic light.

Eric Wells, 30, was killed and two others were injured.

Charged in early 2011, the case has been delayed many times over the admission of blood tests showing Bisard had a blood-alcohol content more than twice the legal limit. The Indiana Supreme Court ruled in December that the blood tests could be admitted into evidence. The case was moved to Allen County this year at the request of Bisard’s attorneys because of pretrial publicity.

While out on bond, Bisard was arrested again in late April, accused of crashing a friend’s truck into a guardrail. A blood test showed he had a blood-alcohol content of 0.22 percent, and there was an open bottle of Dark Eyes vodka inside the truck, according to court documents. The state’s legal limit to drive is 0.08 percent.

The issue of the two vials of blood was again the center of debate, with Bisard’s attorneys seeking to have them tossed out as evidence by Surbeck. They also asked to have the police department provide all audio recordings, transcripts of interviews and other information related to a sergeant and a civilian property room employee.

Surbeck ruled the vials of blood were admissible, and ruled the prosecutors did not have to provide the information requested by the defense because much of it was the work product of the prosecutor handling the case.

Surbeck also denied the defense request to have the jury sequestered for the duration of the trial, ruling that media coverage in the Fort Wayne area has not been nearly as intense or pervasive as it has been in Indianapolis.

rgreen@jg.net

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