The Indianapolis cop who killed a motorcyclist and badly injured two others when he was driving his police cruiser drunk, in a case that divided the city not only over the circumstances of the accident but the police investigation that followed, is headed to prison.
David Bisard was convicted by a jury in Fort Wayne yesterday on all nine charges he faced, including reckless homicide and drunken driving. The most serious charge, killing a person while driving with a blood alcohol content above 0.15 percent could put Bisard away for 20 years.
He will face sentencing Nov. 26 in Allen County Superior Court where the trial was moved after public attention to the case in Indianapolis proved too intense. He has been in jail since April after initially being freed on bond.
He was sent back to lockup after a second drunk driving incident when he crashed his pickup trick into a guard rail. His blood alcohol level on that occasion was 0.22 percent, almost three times Indiana’s legal limit of 0.08 percent.
On Aug. 6, 2010, Bisard (pictured), a 12-year member of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, was on his way to help out other officers in a non-emergency situation when he crashed his squad car into a group of motorcycle riders.
Eric Wells, 30, died. Motorcyclists Kurt Weekly and Mary Mills suffered critical injuries but survived.
Three hours after the accident, Bisard’s blood alcohol level was finally measured. Even by then, it registered 0.19 percent, more than twice the legal maximum.
But his blood sample was not taken by a properly certified technician, which led the original prosecutor on the case, Carl Brizzi, to drop the charges against Bisard.
New prosecutor Terry Curry reignited the case, and last December the Indiana Supreme Court decided to allow the disputed blood sample as evidence.
Mishandling of Bisard’s blood sample was at the center of controversy in the case and even led the city’s police chief to step down amid allegations of incompetence.
Two other cops and a civilian police employee were also disciplined as a result of the botched blood sample, which was taken out of refrigeration and left in an evidence storage room, despite a judge’s instructions to properly preserve the blood.
“Justice has been served,” decalred Aaron Wells, father of the deceased biker. “Our son is gone forever, but David Bisard, we can only hope, will receive the help that he needs, that he never again hurts or takes another innocent life.”
Sources: USA Today (2), CBS News, The Journal and Courier