Defense begins presenting case on day 12 of David Bisard trial

Testimony could last into early next week

FORT WAYNE, Ind. - The defense began presenting its case Tuesday, day 12 of the trial of embattled Indianapolis police Officer David Bisard.

Defense attorneys expect to call more than 30 witnesses, many of them police officers who say they saw no sign that Bisard was impaired on the day of the August 2010 crash that killed Eric Wells and injured Mary Wells and Kurt Weekly.

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The first full day of defense testimony was spent trying to overcome one of the largest obstacles in the trial, Bisard's blood-alcohol result of 0.19 percent.

The defense began its case in chief, beginning with the first of several IMPD officers to take the stand who had interacted with Bisard at the crash site. All of them said they did not smell alcohol. All of them said they did not hear any slurred speech. And all of them said they did not see any signs of impairment.

Officer Christine King testified when she arrived on scene, she saw Bisard kneeling over victim Kurt Weekly. She said Bisard was talking to him, saying  "stay with me man."

He was trying to provide comfort, King said. When asked if she could have attributed signs of Bisard's shock and trauma for intoxication, she responded, when he had watery eyes, he was asking if Eric Wells was dead.

At one point a witness said Bisard was heard complaining to the other officers to "leave me alone, I’m tired of everyone asking me if I’m OK."

Even IMPD Senior Chaplain Phillip Bacon testified that Bisard seemed to have all his faculties at the crash site. Bacon said Bisard's reaction was typical of someone who had been in a tragic situation.

The defense also plans to call experts who will testify that Bisard's blood draw was taken by someone who lacked the proper certification and that it was drawn in a clinic instead of a hospital, which is required by state law.

Witnesses are also expected to testify that the brakes on Bisard's police cruiser failed before the crash.
Defense testimony could last into early next week.

Judge John Surbeck ruled that emails summarizing testimony that IMPD sent to future witnesses were a violation of his separation order, but he said the emails did not show malicious intent.

The defense requested a directed verdict of acquittal, but Surbeck denied the request.

Surbeck also said he'd like the case to go to the jury on Monday, which would be the 16th day of the trial.

An animation video recreating the crash was shown in court Monday. Watch that video by clicking above or by tapping "Video" in our app.

Watch RTV6 and refresh this page for updates on day 12 of the Bisard trial.

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