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Judge releases evidence that jailed Indianapolis officer in fatal crash

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.The Associated Press
Sunday, July 21, 2013 10:09 am
A photo of a half-empty vodka bottle that was in a pickup truck was part of the evidence that persuaded a judge to order an Indianapolis police officer held until his trial on drunken driving charges in a fatal accident.Allen County Judge John Surbeck, Jr. released about 100 pages of evidence Friday that influenced his decision to revoke bond for David Bisard in May.

Bisard was charged with reckless homicide, drunken driving and other counts in August 2010 after his cruiser slammed into two motorcycles stopped at an intersection, killing 30-year-old motorcyclist Eric Wells and injured two other people.

Two hours after the crash, a blood test showed that Bisard's blood-alcohol level was more than twice Indiana's legal limit, though officers at the crash scene said they did not suspect he was drunk. An internal probe in 2011 concluded that the investigation had been botched and riddled with errors, but some critics suspected police were covering for one of their own.

Bisard was free on bond until he was arrested again and charged with drunken driving in an April 27 crash in Indianapolis.

The evidence related to that second crash included dozens of documents submitted by both sides.

Allen County Superior Court Executive Jerry Noble said he did not believe the release of the evidence to the public prior Bisard's trial would complicate any future appeal. The trial is set to begin Oct. 14 and is expected to take up to a month.

"Our emphasis is to balance the importance and need for a fair and impartial trial for the defendant against the need for the media to know and provide information for the public," he said.

The trial in the 2010 crash was moved from Indianapolis to Fort Wayne due to heavy media coverage in central Indiana. If convicted, he could face 20 or more years in prison.

The evidence released Friday included two 911 calls involving the April crash, in which a pickup truck driven by Bisard crashed into a guardrail. Authorities said he had blood-alcohol level of 0.22 percent, nearly 3 times the legal limit.

One caller said the truck was swerving, and the other said Bisard appeared to be drunk after the crash.


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