INDIANAPOLIS – Former Metro police officer David Bisard is already serving a sixteen year prison sentence for a 2010 fatal drunk driving crash on Indianapolis’ north side, but he won’t serve anymore time for a drunk driving crash and arrest in Lawrence last year while awaiting trial.
Marion Superior Court Judge Linda Brown handed down a suspended 365 day sentence and one year of probation to Bisard for the 2013 case when he tested even more intoxicated than after his fatal crash three years before.
Bisard told the Judge he took, “full responsibility,” for the Lawrence case and that he buckled under the, “stress and pressure of being public enemy number one for the last three years.”
“I didn’t handle it well,” he said.
Brown’s sentence did not please the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office which sought an additional year for Bisard after completion of his prison term.
“The key to us was the fact that he was not only on bond for an operating while intoxicated offense but an operating while intoxicated causing death offense,” said Deputy Prosecutor Denise Robinson who convicted Bisard for the 2010 case, “and the fact that he continued to drink and tested higher. We felt those were significant factors the court should have considered.”
Attorney John Kautzman, who represented Bisard in the fatal crash case and donated his time to defend the ex-cop against the Lawrence arrest, told Judge Brown that if his client’s name wasn’t David Bisard, the state would not have sought another year in the Marion County Jail.
“She understand that for this type of case on these facts that kind of request would never have been made on another defendant.
“We really appreciate the consideration of the court on this case in keeping the focus on this particular case and not bleeding it over to the tragedy of the other case.”
Judge Brown also directed that Bisard receive alcohol treatment upon his release as well as serve an additional year of probation.
“If he violates the probation on his release, the court can impose the one year sentence here so it does have the effect of holding another year over his head,” said Robinson.
Despite Bisard’s acknowledgement of responsibility, Robinson said she detected no remorse from the defendant who stood in front of the judge in chains and an orange jail jumpsuit.
“Acceptance of responsibility is different than remorse,” she said. “Acceptance of responsibility in this case I would call acceptance of the inevitable. This was an exceptionally strong case.”
Kautzman said Bisard continues to show remorse to the family of Eric Wells, the motorcyclist killed in 2010, and other people injured in the crash.
“We understand that by the time this case rolled around he was a person who was not handling well the stresses that occured from the 2010 arrest and he became a serious candidate with alcohol problems and needed treatment.”
Bisard told the court he was enrolled in at least two alcohol behavior classes at the New Castle Correctional Facility and would qualify for intensive therapy during the last three years of his sentence.
Kautzman said Bisard spends 23 hours a day in lockdown for his own safety and that seclusion makes it difficult for him to participate in such classes.
The court was told that Bisard’s wife and two young daughters will be filing for bankruptcy protection soon.
“Its tragic for everyone involved,” said Robinson. “This case has been tragic for the city of Indianapolis and thankfully, at least today, its over with.”