Testimony from widow packs emotional punch, spurs reaction from Bisard

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ALLEN COUNTY – Before the second day of testimony began in the trial of Indianapolis Metropolitan police officer David Bisard, his attorney objected to the proposed testimony of the widow of one of the crash victims.

Luisa Wells was married to Eric Wells for almost two years and still wears her wedding ring.

Wells was killed August 6, 2010, when Bisard ran his patrol car into a trio of motorcyclists on East 56th Street at Brendon Way South Drive.

The State claims Bisard was drunk and has charged the veteran officer with nine counts relating to the death of Wells and injuries to two friends.

Before jurors arrived, defense attorney John Kautzman told Judge John Surbeck that, with reluctance, he objected to the testimony of Wells’ widow, claiming she can add no insight to her husband’s death and that by calling her to the stand, the prosecution was attempting to elicit sympathy from the jury.

Surbeck overruled Kautzman, telling the counselor he would not dictate the State’s case.

Eric and Luisa were high school sweethearts from Florida and had a long-term relationship before their marriage. Luisa spent five years as a police officer in Boca Raton, Fla., where she was, ironically, a crash investigator.

After lunch, it was obvious why the defense didn’t want Wells’ widow to testify. During her short stint on the witness stand, Luisa struggled to maintain her composure, and after her testimony, the man who killed her husband did so, too.

Luisa told jurors that she met Eric in high school in 1997. Wells and his wife were co-workers at the Defense Finance and Accounting Systems building on the Fort Benjamin Harrison campus.

Her voice cracking as she choked up, Luisa explained how Eric had purchased his motorcycle just two weeks before the crash.

Eric asked her to go to lunch that day, Luisa testified, riding on the back of his new bike. She turned down his invitation, preferring to finish some leftover fruit at work—a decision that likely saved her life. Wells said goodbye to his wife, handing her a jacket in the hallway of DFAS before departing for lunch with friends Kurt Weekly, Mary Mills and George Burt.

The memory of that last encounter brought tears to her eyes.

Luisa told jurors she received a phone call from a co-worker asking to step out into the parking lot where she was driven in a car to the accident less than two miles away.

She was unable to uncover any details about the crash, just that her husband had been taken to Methodist Hospital. She was then dismissed from the witness stand as the defense offered no questions.

During the widow’s testimony, Bisard sat at the defense table and appeared glum.

Throughout his many court appearances the accused IMPD officer has remained stone-faced, often not conferring with his attorneys or showing emotion beyond the perfunctory greetings he offers his family when entering the courtroom.

As Luisa left the witness stand clutching a tissue, Bisard’s eyes followed her as they have no other witness in this trial.

The defendant took deep breaths as if to steady himself, his attorney’s hand on his forearm to reassure him.

Bisard closed his eyes as Luisa left the courtroom, swallowing several times to compose himself.

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