ALLEN COUNTY, Ind. (WISH) - The State of Indiana began presenting its case against suspended IMPD Officer David Bisard on Wednesday.
The day in court began with opening statements from both prosecution and defense attorneys.
"We'll know in the opening statement what the strategy of the state is in moving forward and the key thing will probably be the order of witnesses that comes up right after," 24-Hour News 8 Trial Analyst Michael Loomis said before the trial began.
Marion County Deputy Prosecutor Denise Robinson spent around 40 minutes delivering the prosecution's opening statement. She took the jury though the many phases of the case. She says they were going to hear about the crash itself, blood draw and the chain of custody.
Bisard's attorney, John Kautzman, addressed the jury for nine minutes urging members to look beyond the tragic nature of the crash and listen carefully to whether evidence presented proves Bisard committed a crime.
Only two witnesses were called to the stand Wednesday morning. The first was IMPD Officer Shannon Harmon, a patrol officer for the north district. He was on the warrant run Bisard was responding to when Bisard crashed at 42nd Street and Priscilla Avenue. He heard the crash called over the radio and responded to help direct traffic. He says Bisard wasn't on the scene when he got there.
The second witness was Shelia Beisel from the Marion County Sheriff's Communications Center. The jury listened to the 911 tape including calls from several people.
The third person to take the stand was Barbara Belt, a Beech Grove woman who witnessed the crash. She broke down in tears several times as she recalled what she saw.
Bisard has been accused of driving his squad car while intoxicated into a group of stopped motorcycles. The crash killed Eric Wells, 30, and severely injured two others.
A jury of six men and six women were chosen Tuesday to hear the case. The number was originally seven men and five women although one male juror was excused and replaced first thing Wednesday.
Eric Wells' family was sitting in the first row on the left (state) side of the gallery. Bisard's family was in the front row on the right. Bisard's wife was seen leaving the courtroom as Robinson started her opening statement. She sat outside the room for most of the morning on Wednesday.
The courtroom was otherwise fairly empty. Media representatives were sitting throughout the gallery along with Fort Wayne attorneys uninvolved in the trial who sat in to listen to proceedings periodically.
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