Former Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officer David Bisard will serve 13 years in prison for his convictions in a fatal drunken-driving crash.
Allen Superior Judge John Surbeck on Tuesday sentenced Bisard to 16 years with three suspended for convictions related to the August 2010 crash in which Bisard drove his police cruiser into motorcyclists stopped at an Indianapolis northside intersection, killing Eric Wells and injuring Mary Mills and Kurt Weekly.
Bisard was convicted on all counts earlier this month by a jury that heard the case after it was moved from Indianapolis to Fort Wayne due to pretrial publicity. Bisard was convicted of Class B felony operating with a blood-alcohol concentration higher than 0.15; Class C felonies operating while intoxicated causing death and reckless homicide; and Class D felonies OWI causing serious injury, operating with a BAC 0.08 causing injury, OWI causing serious injury, operating with a BAC of 0.08, and two counts of criminal recklessness.
Bisard will receive drug and alcohol treatment and psychological assessments and treatment under terms of the sentence, though he insists he was not intoxicated at the time of the crash. Disputed blood testimony at trial showed Bisard had a blood-alcohol level of 0.19 at the time of the crash.
Surbeck said Bisard’s denial of intoxication could not be considered as a mitigating factor in sentencing. He noted that before and during trial he observed Bisard was “without emotion” but nonetheless found him remorseful based in part on letters written on Bisard’s behalf.
But Surbeck noted aggravating factors outweighed mitigating factors and argued for enhanced and consecutive sentences on the convictions. Aggravating factors included Bisard’s arrest on a drunken-driving charge in April while he was out on bail, after which his bond was revoked. His actions leading to the crash also were an abuse of police power and a breach of public trust.
Bisard is credited for 210 days of time served, and therefore with good-time credit could be eligible for release from the Department of Correction in about six years.