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Opening Arguments

Guilty on all counts

The jury has reached its verdict in the case of David Bisard, the former Indianapolis police opfficer accused of being drunk when his patrol car slammed into some motorcyclists, killing one of them:

An Indianapolis police officer was convicted Tuesday of driving drunk and causing a fatal crash, sparking a case that has roiled the city's police department for more than three years.

An Allen County jury deliberated for about seven hours before returning its verdict in the case of Officer David Bisard.

Bisard faced reckless homicide, criminal recklessness, drunken driving and other charges in the August 2010 crash that killed 30-year-old motorcyclist Eric Wells and seriously injured two others.

As I've written before, I watched this trial a little more closely than I might have, since I was in the jury pool (but not picked). From what I could see from a distance, the jury did a good job. They were given a choice of which evidence to believe -- blood evidence showing he had a blood alcohol content of 0.18 at the time of the crash and anecdotal evidence from a lot of people at the scene who  said he didn't seem impaired. They chose the best evidence.

Not seeming impaired can mean that someone isn't, but it can also mean that someone has been a heavy drinker for so long he doesn't show the same signs of impairment that other people do. Evidence that this might be the case with Bisard is the fact that he was charged with another DUI while out of bond. That's some serious drinking problem. The jury didn't know this, so it had to use just the evidence before it in the specific case he was charged in.

Dunno. If I were a lawyer, I might have argued that the second DUI should have been admitted because it demonstrated a pattern of behavior. What do you think?