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Blood drawn from cop after crash OK for trial

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The Indiana Supreme Court on Monday let stand a ruling saying blood was drawn properly from an allegedly intoxicated Indianapolis police officer after a 2010 fatal crash. But the officer's attorney said it's uncertain whether the evidence can be introduced at trial.

The high court on Monday agreed with an Indiana Court of Appeals ruling allowing evidence that showed Officer David Bisard had a blood-alcohol level of 0.19 percent — more than twice the legal limit — when his cruiser plowed into two motorcycles stopped at a traffic light, killing Eric Well and critically injuring two other people in 2010.

Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry says that means the sample can be used to support drunken driving and criminal recklessness charges against Bisard.

However, Bisard's attorney, John Kautzman, said he can still challenge admission of the blood at trial regarding its chain of custody and says the sample's credibility before a jury also remains in doubt.

"There's challenges that can occur at the trial stage," Kautzman said. Bisard faces charges of operating a vehicle while intoxicated, reckless homicide and criminal recklessness.

The Court of Appeals ruled in September that a Marion County judge erred in determining the blood drawn from Bisard after the Aug. 6, 2010, crash was inadmissible because it was drawn by a medical assistant, a profession not included among those listed in Indiana law that are allowed to draw blood in drunken driving cases.

Former Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi stunned the victims and public when he dropped drunken driving charges against Bisard just days after they were filed, which he did because of the discrepancy. After taking office last year, Curry refiled the charges against Bisard.

Marion County Judge Grant Hawkins subsequently ruled the blood couldn't be used as evidence of drunken driving but could be used to support a reckless homicide charge. The appeals court then ruled legislators clearly hadn't intended for key evidence to be thrown out on a technicality.

Curry said Monday he hopes the Bisard case goes to trial next year, but a trial date has not been set. Hawkins last week agreed to move the trial out of the Indianapolis media market because of the case's extensive publicity, but the new venue might not be known until the next hearing in February.

Hawkins has allowed prosecutors to test a second blood sample despite objections by Kautzman that it was mishandled by police technicians. The results of those tests haven't been released.

The city of Indianapolis has agreed to pay settlements totaling $3.85 million to Wells' family and the other two motorcyclists hurt in the crash.

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  • Lets hope this sticks
    Cops should be glad to see justice done. How many of them are weighing in on this? Hopefully our champions of justice at the FOP will put there full support behind the vigorous prosecution of this case.

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  1. John, unfortunately CTRWD wants to put the tank(s) right next to a nature preserve and at the southern entrance to Carmel off of Keystone. Not exactly the kind of message you want to send to residents and visitors (come see our tanks as you enter our city and we build stuff in nature preserves...

  2. 85 feet for an ambitious project? I could shoot ej*culate farther than that.

  3. I tried, can't take it anymore. Untill Katz is replaced I can't listen anymore.

  4. Perhaps, but they've had a very active program to reduce rainwater/sump pump inflows for a number of years. But you are correct that controlling these peak flows will require spending more money - surge tanks, lines or removing storm water inflow at the source.

  5. All sewage goes to the Carmel treatment plant on the White River at 96th St. Rainfall should not affect sewage flows, but somehow it does - and the increased rate is more than the plant can handle a few times each year. One big source is typically homeowners who have their sump pumps connect into the sanitary sewer line rather than to the storm sewer line or yard. So we (Carmel and Clay Twp) need someway to hold the excess flow for a few days until the plant can process this material. Carmel wants the surge tank located at the treatment plant but than means an expensive underground line has to be installed through residential areas while CTRWD wants the surge tank located further 'upstream' from the treatment plant which costs less. Either solution works from an environmental control perspective. The less expensive solution means some people would likely have an unsightly tank near them. Carmel wants the more expensive solution - surprise!

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