Jury selection under way in trial of suspended Indianapolis police Officer David Bisard
Ofc. David Bisard accused of DUI in fatal crash
Last Updated: 51 days ago
FORT WAYNE, Ind. - Jury selection has begun in the trial of an Indianapolis police officer accused of driving drunk when he crashed into two motorcycles, killing a man and seriously injuring two other people.
UPDATE at 7:10 p.m.: Final panel of potential jurors were dismissed for the day. Jury selection will resume Tuesday morning at 9 a.m. when a new group of approximately 50 prospective jurors are scheduled to report.
UPDATE at 5:40 p.m.: Ten jurors -- five men and five women -- have been selected for the trial. Another panel was being brought in to try to bring the number of jurors to 12 before the end of the day. That would mean the four alternates would be chosen Tuesday, and opening arguments in the trial would begin Wednesday.
UPDATE at 4:15 p.m.: Seven jury members have been selected for the trial, including four women and three men.
UPDATE at 1:30 p.m.: Five jury members have already been selected for the trial. Three women and two men were selected. There will be 12 jurors total, with four alternates, once the selection is complete.
Special Section: David Bisard trial
The trial of David Bisard on reckless homicide and drunken driving charges was moved to Allen Superior Court in Fort Wayne because of extensive pretrial publicity in central Indiana. Judge John Surbeck began jury selection Monday morning.
Jury selection questionnaires were sent to 300 people. The 16-page questionnaire asked many questions familiar to criminal cases, but also delved into specifics.
One of the questions asked if potential jurors ride a motorcycle and if they drink alcohol. Another asked if prospective jurors have bumper stickers on their vehicles.
"The whole idea is to identify individuals who have come in with some bias and preconceived notions. And certainly, no one wants these individuals on the jury, and so it is an important part of any trial," Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry said.
Forty-seven prospective jurors were in court on Monday. Full jury selection is expected to take two to three days. Surbeck said he will start the trial the day after the jury is selected.
Curry said there are 70 witnesses it may call, while the defense has listed 113 prospective witnesses, including 67 people who were around after the crash and will testify they saw no sign of Bisard being impaired.
Surbeck ruled that two vials of blood showing Bisard was legally drunk hours after the crash can be used against him at his trial.
The vials have been the subject of a drawn-out legal debate in the more than three years since Bisard's patrol car plowed into the motorcycles stopped at a traffic light on Aug. 6, 2010.
"Obviously there were a number of steps along the way that were necessary and I said from day one, our goal was to make sure there was a full and fair presentation of the evidence in this case so the victims could be assured, the public could be assured. So that's exactly what's going to happen now," Curry said.
RTV6 spoke with Aaron Wells, father of one of the crash victims, Eric Wells. He said the family has been through the proverbial roller-coaster ride of emotions leading up to this trial – lots of ups and downs in anticipation of seeing the trial of the man suspected of being responsible for his son's death.
"David Bisard will get a fair trial and we want him to have a fair trial. And this is the process. We've waited over three years for it," Wells said.
Wells says the family will be present for the duration of the trial, and is anxious to get it over with. Family members say they want a fair trial, and they believe that’s what they will get.
Bisard was in a jail jumpsuit when brought into the courthouse, but he changed into a suit for jury selection.
Twelve jurors and four alternates will be selected.
Watch RTV6 and refresh this page for updates.
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