Bisard Trial Week One Wraps Up with Drinking Admission
ALLEN COUNTY, IN (OCTOBER 19TH, 2013) – For the first time in public its been revealed that Officer David Bisard admitted consuming at least, “a few” drinks the night before a fatal crash that claimed the life of a motorcyclist and that he worried the effects of those drinks would show up in his blood alcohol test.
Officer Dan Ryan, assigned to Bisard’s K9 unit, testified about talking to the accused officer several months after the accident on East 56th Street.
“Officer Ryan…testified to having a conversation with David Bisard where Bisard admitting to having several drinks the night before this happened and to specifically drinking vodka,” said lead prosecutor Denise Robinson.
“Bisard did express his concern about positive results as for alcohol.”
Robinson said three days after the accident Bisard told Ryan he was afraid the blood test would record residual alcohol in his system.
It wasn’t until several months later that Bisard told Ryan he had been drinking the night before the crash.
While Robinson characterize the number of drinks as, “several,” Bisard’s attorney John Kautzman heard it described as, “a few.”
Ryan’s account was not included in any IMPD internal reports on the Bisard case because he either did not think it was significant enough to share with investigators or he learned of Bisard’s pre-crash drinking after the reports were issued.
At the heart of the State’s case are blood test results that indicate Bisard was twice above the legal limit to drive.
Robinson said she will begin offering witness testimony Monday regarding the disputed blood draw, its testing and handling.
“The blood was tested,” she insisted after court adjourned Friday afternoon. “Vial One was tested six times. Vial Two was tested three times. We have DNA tests. That’s all evidence the jury is going to hear.”
Those blood tests reportedly show Bisard’s blood alcohol level at .18-.19% which is more than two times the legal limit to drive in Indiana.
In an internal report exclusively obtained by Fox 59 News, two detectives, Rick Burkhardt and Tom Lehn, reported to then-Chief Paul Ciesielski in October of 2010 that, “Mrs. Bisard told Sgt. Heddon that her husband drank the night before and woke up at about 0200 hrs. that morning to get ‘a drink.’”
“If the defense calls Laura Bisard to testify I’m sure we’ll cross exam her,” said Robinson.
Mrs. Bisard has not attended the trial in the courtroom.
Instead she has maintained a vigil on a bench outside the courtroom, separated from the other witnesses and testimony, an indication that she may be called to testify in her husband’s defense.
Before Ryan testified jurors heard from three of the top IMPD commanders who were on the scene August 6, 2010.
Assistant Chief Ron Hicks and Commander John Conley testified that they did not perceive any signs of alcohol in Bisard at the crash scene.
Former Assistant Chief Darryl Pierce agreed but noticed some possible indicators of intoxication.
“The jury heard from this morning then-Assistant Chief Pierce who saw red bloodshot eyes, who saw sweating,” said Robinson. “He just didn’t equate it with intoxication and he admitted on the stand that they are signs of intoxication.”
Defense attorney Andrew Duncan confirmed for jurors that Pierce did not recognize any signs of inebriation that day.
Robinson said she would call other officers to the stand who also noticed physical symptoms that upon further reflection could indicate intoxication.
The prosecution will also call experts in alcoholism and the effects of alcohol on a subject’s body.
“It does tie in with questions we’ve been asking about certain types of alcohol not emitting odor.” said Robinson, “Vodka being one of them.”
During a second DUI arrest in Lawrence this past spring, a half-empty bottle of Dark Eyes vodka was discovered in Bisard’s pick-up truck.
Jurors do not know of that case.
Thus far 31 of the prosecution’s 70 witnesses have testified.
Robinson expects all of the State’s witnesses to be called with the prosecution wrapping up its case by the end of next week.
“On balance it went well,” she said, reflecting on the first week of the trial. “We got out information that we needed to get out and we’re ready to transition to the blood test evidence next week.”
Early prosecution witnesses admitted under direct questioning and defense cross-examination that they detected no signs of intoxication in Bisard.
Robinson agreed that strategy was akin to getting the bad news out of the way early.
“We addressed the issues that we needed to address and now we move on to the strength of our case.”
Bisard’s defense team often declines to speak on the record to reporters following the day’s proceedings.