Forensic Experts Weigh Validity Of Bisard's Blood Sample

Several Factors Could Change Sample's Accuracy, Officials Say

After learning that the second blood vial in the case against suspended Indianapolis Metro Police Department Officer David Bisard was mishandled, officials are wondering if the blood is, indeed, tainted.

Bisard was on duty in his cruiser when he struck motorcyclists stopped at a red light on Aug. 6, 2010, killing Eric Wells and injuring Kurt Weekly and Mary Mills, police said.

A blood test administered about two hours after the crash showed that Bisard had a blood-alcohol content level of 0.19 percent, officials said.

Authorities said they discovered that the vial was removed from a refrigerator in the IMPD property room in November, transferred to another location, and stored improperly at room temperature, RTV6's Jenna Kooi reported.

John Goodpaster, director of the Forensic and Investigative Sciences program at Indiana University Purdue University-Indianapolis, said the instruments used to test for alcohol in blood samples are extremely accurate.

However, Goodpaster said that if the samples are going to be stored before they are tested, they should be stored in a refrigerated space.

He said improper storage can cause the amount of alcohol in the blood sample to change.

"You could have the (alcohol) increase over time due to microbes, or it can decrease over time due to evaporation," Goodpaster said.

In a third scenario, Goodpaster told RTV6 that it’s possible that if the vial was sealed properly, tightly, properly sterilized, it could have added preservatives to counteract microorganisms.

With these three possible outcomes, Goodpaster said there really isn’t a good way to know if Bisard's blood sample is tainted.

"I'd be concerned about its reliability,” he said.

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