David Bisard gets suspended sentence on second DUI charge
Former Metro Police Officer David Bisard went back to court to face his second DUI charge. He confessed. The judge's sentence doesn't add any time to the time he's already serving.
Prosecutors are disappointed. They wanted the maximum sentence of another year in jail. The judge opted for a year of probation. It's a rare victory for former cop who is already in prison for killing someone while driving drunk.
David Bisard pleaded guilty to a single and simple charge of driving while intoxicated, telling the judge, "I am here to accept full responsibility for my actions, full responsibility."
Bisard's attorney argued for the minimum sentence, insisting he should be treated no differently than any other person guilty of the same misdemeanor crime. After the hearing, John Kautzman explained, "I don't think we would have had a hearing today. This would have been agreed to by the state as a plea bargain without any discussions whatsoever, had it been any other defendant."
Bisard, however isn't any other defendant. When he wrecked a pick-up in April 2013, driving with a blood alcohol content of .22, almost three times the legal definition of intoxication, the IMPD officer was awaiting trial on more serious drunk driving charges.
Almost three years earlier while on duty, Bisard sped into stopped traffic, killing Eric Wells and nearly killing two others. He was convicted in November and sentenced to 13 years in prison.
In this second case, prosecutors argued for the maximum sentence, an additional year in jail. Calling Bisard an "absolute danger to the community," they were unmoved by his confession.
"Acceptance of responsibility is different than remorse. Acceptance of responsibility - in this case I would call acceptance of the inevitable - it was an extremely strong case," said deputy prosecutor Denise Robinson.
Bisard still denies he was drunk in 2010 and plans to appeal his conviction. In court, he blamed his more recent drinking on stress and depression resulting from the deadly crash.
Wednesday's sentencing ends a three-and-a-half-year legal and emotional ordeal that claimed and changed lives, embarrassed a police department and caused a community to question its protectors.
Robinson summed up, "This case has been tragic for the City of Indianapolis. We are thankful that is over with."
In court, we learned a few things about David Bisard. His family has declared bankruptcy. For his safety, the former officer is separated from other inmates. He spends 23 hours a day in his cell. Bisard is enrolled in a substance abuse program and is working on a college degree. He told Judge Linda Brown he intends to come out of prison a better person that he was going in.
Bisard will serve out his sentence at the correctional facility in Newcastle.