Indiana News

Judge: Prosecutors Can Use Both Blood Vials Against Bisard

Rules against Bisard's attorneys in two other motions

9/3/2013

Prosecutors will be able to use both vials of blood drawn from a suspended Indianapolis police officer at his reckless homicide trial.

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Allen County Superior Court Judge John Surbeck ruled that Marion County prosecutors can introduce the second vial of blood drawn from David Bisard on August 6, 2010, just after his police car crashed into a group of motorcycles, killing one of the bikers, Eric Wells. Surbeck also ruled against a motion from Bisard's attorneys to sequester the jury during the trial. He also granted a request from prosecutors to block Bisard's lawyers from getting transcripts and recordings of a conversation involving Deputy Prosecutor Denise Robinson, a conversation that Robinson says she did not know were being recorded.

The rulings were a setback for Bisard, who originally avoided a drunk driving charge when a Marion County judge threw out the use of the blood that was drawn. That ruling said the blood draws did not follow state regulations on which people were qualified to draw blood. The State Court of Appeals reversed that ruling last year, and Judge Surbeck ruled last week that prosecutors could introduce the first vial of blood taken from Bisard. That vial showed he had a blood alcohol level of .19 at the time of the 2010 crash, which happened while he was on duty.

Bisard's trial is scheduled to begin October 15. It was moved to Allen County due to media publicity, and Bisard's lawyers argued that same publicity should force the jury to be sequestered. However, Surbeck's ruling said publicity has not been excessive in Allen County, and that sequestering a jury in a "non-capital" case would be unusual.

Bisard's lawyers also wanted to introduce transcripts and recordings of Robinson that were made by Deputy Public Safety Director Ellen Corcella and Special Investigative Unit Sergeant Dawn Higgins. Robinson told Surbeck the recordings were made without her knowledge, and Surbeck ruled in favor of the prosecution's motion to deny the defense access to the recordings, saying the information is privileged.

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