The trial against IMPD officer David Bisard will be moved outside of Marion County.
During a status hearing Thursday, Judge Grant Hawkins said the community interest for the case has not lessened and he does not believe it will. He made that statement as a number of photographers and reporters gathered outside his courtroom.
Judge Hawkins met with prosecutors and Bisard’s defense team behind closed doors for about 20 minutes, discussing the options. When the private meeting ended, Deputy Prosecutor Denise Robinson told reporters the case will be moved to another area.
She said Judge Hawkins has selected three possible counties and three possible judges to preside over the case. Robinson said it could be any combination of those. There is a possibility Judge Hawkins will not oversee the trial.
“I’ve known. We’ve all known for some time that that was necessary. The publicity surrounding the case… the defendant (is) entitled to a fair trial. The state is entitled to a fair trial,” Robinson said.
Bisard is accused of driving his police cruiser drunk into motorcycles stopped at a red light in Aug. 2010. Eric Wells was killed and his friends, Mary Mills and Kurt Weekly, were seriously injured.
On Thursday, Aaron Wells’ father said he was okay with the decision to move the trial outside of Indianapolis.
“I believe Marion County has got enough residents in it to select (jurors), (but if they feel) there will be a fairer situation, then bring on the county,” Wells said.
His family continues taking it day-by-day. He said he understands that court cases can take time.
“It’s there with you everyday,” Wells cried. “The time doesn’t help. You just want a time where you can heal.”
It has not been decided where the trial will be held. Robinson said she is comfortable with the options. The options are scattered throughout the state. Robinson felt there could have been a fair trial if it would have been held in Marion county.
“The costs to the county to start a trial and then find out that change of venue is necessary that would cost Marion county tens of thousands of dollars to get to that point. It’s simply simpler to say we’ll change venue (now),” Robinson said.
A status hearing has been scheduled for Feb. 14 at 1:30 p.m. During that hearing, Robinson said, other items will be discussed. A trial date could also be scheduled.
The defense did not comment about moving the trial somewhere else.
Bisard faces several charges, including operating a vehicle while intoxicated and reckless homicide.
Controversy has surrounded the case from the beginning. The first vial of blood taken from Bisard was thrown out because protocol was not followed properly. It showed Bisard’s blood alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit.
The second vial of blood has been tested. The results are back, but Robinson said they cannot be disclosed. A ruling from the Supreme Court has not been made. It could impact when the trial begins.