ALLEN COUNTY, Ind. (WISH) - Before opening statements were delivered Wednesday morning, the judge and attorneys in the David Bisard trial faced a jury contamination issue.
Judge John Surbeck notified attorneys that a male juror had brought a concern to the judge's attention.
The juror said after his selection as a member on Monday, he attended a work function during which he was provided alleged details of the case from an Indianapolis resident.
The juror was brought in to share the account with the court without the presence of the rest of the jury.
He said despite his request that the Indianapolis resident not discuss the case, the person continued to share opinions of Bisard and brought up the suspended officer's April 2013 arrest for drinking and driving in Lawrence.
Prosecuting attorney Denise Robinson suggested the juror be moved to an alternate position. The defense argued that during jury selection, other potential members were dismissed for having exposure to similar information.
Judge Surbeck agreed with the defense and said the juror had information forced upon him by no fault of his own.
"The whole thing just doesn't feel right to start with a step down, so to speak. This certainly is not his fault. He has been very professional about it. I'm going to excuse him and replace him," Surbeck said.
The juror was replaced by a female alternate shifting the jury to a makeup of six women and six men. Two alternates remain from the original panel of three.
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