Day 6: Bisard trial focuses on blood evidence

INDIANAPOLIS - Monday marks the beginning of the second week in the trial of suspended Metro police officer David Bisard.

Michelle Maga Johnson, the person who drew Bisard's blood at Methodist Occupational Health Clinic following the crash, was the first to testify Monday. Johnson said the vials she was originally prepared to use were expired, so she called another clinic and had unexpired vials delivered.

Johnson also explained that she mistakenly swabbed Bisard's arm with rubbing alcohol, so she drew the blood from his other arm.

Many in the courtroom believed that Johnson proved a more effective witness for the defense, rather than the prosecution.

She admitted she felt pressured in the clinic, with the presence of so many police officers, and twice she almost began the blood draw with expired vials.

In three separate reports, including one she wrote herself, she failed to acknowledge or couldn’t recall whether she properly mixed the blood with the preservatives and coagulates inside the vials.

Johnson told the jury that she believed that she was following IMPD protocol in the blood draw, and not the written procedures outlined by the clinic.

Lt. Stan Stephens, a former Lawrence police officer and a member of the Fatal Alcohol Crash Team, witnessed the draw. He testified that he did not see Johnson properly mix the blood with the chemicals, a key point.

Failure to follow the procedure could result in contamination or cause the blood to start making its own alcohol.

Stephens also said he had more than one hour to observe Bisard at the clinic and said he did not see any signs of impairment.

The state still has 35 witnesses to call and indicated to the judge that they could wrap up their case by Thursday.

During the first three days of the trial, a jury was seated, and a juror was dismissed and replaced with an alternate before opening statements on Wednesday.

On Thursday, the jury heard testimony from the victims of the crash and emergency first responders, and members of the IMPD command staff testified on Friday, along with Bisard's former K-9 partner.

RTV6 reporter Jack Rinehart said the prosecution called 31 witnesses during the first week of testimony, and almost 40 more are expected to take the stand this week.

Rinehart said Monday's testimony would start with discussion of the controversial blood evidence.

More: Bad Blood: Is evidence against David Bisard flawed?

Bisard is accused of driving drunk and killing a motorcyclist during an on-duty crash in 2010.

Follow Jack Rinehart on Twitter: @jackrinehart6

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