FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WISH) - A member of the jury was excused from the David Bisard trial on the final day of proceedings before the jury was to begin deliberating.
Judge John Surbeck discovered a male juror known as "Number 12" had done research into issues brought up during the trial outside of court. That activity directly disobeyed jury instructions given daily by the judge.
Juror 12, named Mike, was brought into the courtroom alone to address the issue in front of Judge Surbeck, attorneys and a full gallery waiting to hear closing arguments scheduled Monday morning.
"Mike" struggled through admitting his actions and asked for the court's patience when Judge Surbeck's voice raised in questioning the juror about what he had done to possibly taint the rest of the jury.
The juror said he researched elements of blood alcohol testing in Indiana and found cases in other states were thrown out in the past. He shared some of the information he found with other jury members.
Before bringing each other jury member into court individually to share what they may have overheard, Judge Surbeck expressed concern over the possibility of the trial coming to a premature end.
"If we are able to save this jury they are within our control from here out so they will not be exposed to anything further," Surbeck said. " I will excuse the one juror who is involved and if any information is shared with any other member, we're done."
Several jurors told the court they were exposed to Mike's conversation. Each was asked if they would be able to set aside what they heard and base their decision solely on what was heard in the courtroom.
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