Legal analyst: Blood vials key for both prosecution, defense in Bisard case

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ALLEN COUNTY – A Fort Wayne judge has ruled that a second vial of blood taken from suspended IMPD officer David Bisard can be used in his trial for reckless homicide.

The ruling is a win for prosecutors who are trying to prove that Bisard’s blood alcohol content was more than twice the legal limit when crashed his police cruiser into three motorcyclists in August 2010. One man died in the crash and two other motorcyclists were critically injured.

In the lead-up to David Bisard’s trial next month, judge John Surbeck had already ruled to allow Bisard’s first vial of blood as evidence. The vial found Bisard’s blood alcohol content was more than twice the legal limit after his 2010 crash. However, since Bisard’s blood draw didn’t follow IMPD’s own protocols, prosecutors were also pushing for a second vial to be used as evidence. On Tuesday the judge ruled to allow it.

“The state is going to argue that if you didn’t trust the results of the first vial, we’ve duplicated them and we have results on a second test, which are the same as the first,” said local attorney and legal expert Jack Crawford. “Both (vials) showing that officer Bisard tested, blood alcohol, twice the legal limit.”

Crawford says that doesn’t mean the Bisard defense is doomed. He says the ruling doesn’t change the fact that the second vial of blood sat unrefrigerated in a police property room for five months before being tested.

“The defense is going to argue this entire investigation is compromised and contaminated and you can’t trust any of the scientific evidence,” Crawford said.

That scientific evidence is critical to prosecutors’ efforts to put Bisard behind bars for the maximum amount of time.

“The important part of the state’s case is to prove, not only that officer Bisard was intoxicated, but to show that his blood alcohol was above .15,” Crawford said. “That elevates his charges to a B felony, six to 20 years, that’s a jail sentence charge.”

Prosecutors also won’t have to worry about two secret recordings made of lead prosecutor Denise Robinson. The defense hoped to use them during the trial but the judge ruled that they are privileged and will not be released. Still, Crawford says the problems that plagued the investigation from day one mean the case is far from over.

“Don’t count the defense out, like a lot of people want to do,” Crawford said. “You have to remember the defense is going to parade some 20 police officers who were there at the scene, including several brass, who are going to say they got close to officer Bisard and he wasn’t impaired in any way in their opinion.”

The judge also refused a defense motion to sequester the jury to keep it away from media coverage. Surbeck said media coverage in Ft Wayne has not been extensive.