Opening statements begin in Bisard trial after juror dismissed
Last Updated: 54 days ago
FORT WAYNE, Ind. - UPDATE: 10:15 a.m.: A male jury member of the trial was excused before opening statements after hearing a co-worker say he thought Bisard was guilty. The juror has been replaced by a female alternate, bringing the jury to six males, six females. Opening statements were then delayed because the court's recording system stopped working midway through the prosecution's statement.
Opening statements began Wednesday morning in the trial of Indianapolis Metro Police Officer David Bisard.
Bisard is accused of DUI and crashing into a group of motorcyclists in August 2010. Eric Wells died in the crash, and two others were seriously injured.
Earlier this week, 12 jurors and three alternates were selected to sit in judgment of the forthcoming evidence and testimonies presented by the defense and prosecution.
Investigators said blood tests expected to be introduced as evidence show Bisard had a blood-alcohol level more than twice Indiana's legal limit of 0.08 percent at the time of the crash.
The courtroom has experienced a couple of speed bumps so far Wednesday. It was discovered the 12th jury member for the trial had heard from a co-worker that he already believed Bisard to be guilty, and the co-worker thought Bisard had a drinking problem.
The judge asked the jury member Wednesday morning if he could put aside this information; the man said he believed he could. After discussion with other court officials, the judge decided to replace him with a female alternate.
"Someone at (that jury member's workplace) meeting was from Indianapolis, had that information, and against the juror's wishes, offered some opinions on the case, so the judge determined to excuse that juror," Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry said.
Along with the replaced jury member, court officials had to deal with a malfunctioning recording system. Halfway through the prosecution's opening statements, jury members were forced back into the jury room as a technician was brought in to replace or repair the courtroom's recording system.
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