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Commanders arrive to testify in Bisard trial

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Three top former and current IMPD commanders arrived at the Allen County courthouse Friday to testify for the prosecution in the David Bisard case.

Current Assistant Chief Ron Hicks and Southeast District Commander John Conley walked into the Fort Wayne courthouse shortly before 8 a.m., followed minutes later by retired IMPD Assistant Chief Darryl Pierce.

The three men were the top ranking commanders on the scene Aug. 6, 2010, when Bisard’s patrol car slammed into three motorcyclists on East 56th Street, killing Eric Wells and injuring two others.

Bisard arrived in the basement of the courthouse, for the first time, chained to a group of inmates and accompanied by an Allen County Sheriff’s deputy.

Traditionally, Bisard has walked alone, dressed in an orange or orange and white striped jail jumpsuit.

Shortly after 8 a.m., Bisard’s wife walked through the courthouse lobby with two garment bags, presumably with the gray and brown business suits her husband wears in the courtroom. Those bags were delivered to sheriff’s deputies.

In court Thursday, paramedics and IMPD officers who were among the first to arrive at the crash scene testified under cross-examination that they did not detect any signs of intoxication in Bisard.

Bisard faces nine counts, including reckless homicide and causing death while intoxicated.

Lead prosecutor Denise Robinson told reporters after court adjourned that she has witnesses who will testify that they perceived Bisard to be intoxicated that day.

Such witnesses would be the first to be deposed or speak publicly. A comprehensive IMPD investigation interviewed 67 witnesses, including a department chaplain and doctor who observed Bisard, and no one reported any signs of alcohol use.

For the first time, Bisard showed emotion in the courtroom following the testimonies of Kurt Weekly and Mary Mills, who were severely injured in the accident, and Luisa Montilla Wells, the widow of Eric Wells.

Luisa cried during the testimony as she recalled the last time she spoke to her husband before he rode his motorcycle to lunch with his co-workers.

As she left the witness stand Thursday, Bisard watched her departure from the courtroom and viewed the Wells’ family in the front row of the gallery for an extended time. He then closed his eyes, swallowed hard, took several deep breaths and was comforted by his attorney Robert Gevers.

Previously, Bisard has shown no emotion in the courtroom and tended to stare straight ahead and not react as he was pointed out to jurors.

Following an afternoon break Thursday, Bisard was more animated with his attorney and family and visibly sat up straighter as witnesses were asked to identify him seated at the defense table.