David Bisard trial to move out of Marion County

Judge considers 3 potential destinations

INDIANAPOLIS - The trial of Indianapolis police Officer David Bisard will move out of Marion County.

Three potential counties outside the Indianapolis area are being considered as potential destinations for the trial.

Judge Grant Hawkins noted that cameras greeted him outside the courtroom and that he didn't expect the case would draw less interest in future hearings.

The prosecution and defense discussed potential trial sites, and the list was then narrowed to three that are in either the far northern or southern reaches of the state.

Bisard's trial could take up to four weeks once it begins, Hawkins said.

Any court that receives the case will have logistical issues to contend with. Counties use different case management systems, and the bulk of files and data in the Bisard case will prove more challenging to migrate effectively.

No trial date was set, but there will be another status hearing on Feb. 14. The Marion County Prosecutor's Office said the case could go to trial next year, perhaps in late summer or early fall.

The Marion County Prosecutor's Office acknowledged that Bisard's chance of getting a fair trial in Marion County seemed doubtful.

"I don't have legally the ability to fight it at this juncture. It's been too closely watched," said Deputy Prosecutor Denise Robinson. "And if you look at the public  comments, it would be too difficult for me as a prosecutor. I have to also consider the rights of the defendant. I just can't consider my interests."

Bisard faces charges of operating a vehicle while intoxicated and reckless homicide in an August 2010 crash when his police cruiser slammed into a group of motorcycles, killing Eric Wells, 30, and injuring two others.

In the aftermath of the crash, testing of one vial of blood showed Bisard's blood-alcohol content was 0.19, police said, but the test was dismissed because the blood draw did not follow police protocol.

A second vial of blood was placed in police custody, but it was discovered earlier this year that it had been moved from the police property room and left unrefrigerated for months.

The second vial has been tested for DNA and alcohol, but the results have not been made public.

Aaron Wells, Eric Wells' father, said it's difficult to believe that 12 people couldn't be found in Marion County to fairly weigh the facts of the case but that he's supportive of Bisard's right to a fair trial.

"If Judge Hawkins and the defense team of David Bisard feel like he'll get a fairer trial, then I'm all for it, regardless of where it's at," Aaron Wells said. "I've got to believe Marion County has enough residents in it to select. But if they feel they'll be a  fairer situation, bring on the county wherever it's at."

Wells said it's taken a toll on his family to endure the delays in the case and to come to court numerous times.

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