Bisard pretrial hearing creates headlines

Are police, prosecutors on same team?

FORT WAYNE, Ind. - Secret recordings of prosecutors, alleged spying and possible corruption were all elements that were exposed during a pretrial hearing for suspended Officer David Bisard on Wednesday.

Bisard is charged with drunken driving causing death in connection with the August 2010 accident that killed Eric Wells and injured Mary Mills and Kurt Weekly. He is still awaiting trial three years later. 

Defense attorney John Kautzman asked the court to suppress the blood evidence. Tests indicated Bisard had a 0.19 percent blood-alcohol content.

Judge John Surbeck denied that motion, and blood evidence from the first vial can be used.

Despite the favorable ruling, the father of Eric Wells, Aaron Wells, does not trust the police investigation.

"We're talking corruption here. It's been there. It's there. What do you need other than sitting in a courtroom and hearing that it exists. It exists,” Wells said.

In court, Wells heard testimony that the conversations of lead Prosecutor Denise Robinson were secretly taped on two occasions -- once on the phone and once in her office.

It is not certain who did the taping, but Sgt. Dawn Higgins, and Former Chief of Professional Standards in the Department of Public Safety, Ellen Corcella, were talking to Robinson both times.

"It doesn't damage my faith in IMPD. It doesn't damage the working relationship I have with many fine officers at IMPD. It certainly damages my ability to work with certain officers," Robinson said.

Legal expert Jack Crawford is a former Lake County prosecutor.

“I'm sure the prosecutors are horrified by something like this and to do it surreptitiously, to take a prosecutor's statement like that without telling them you were gonna do it, is absolutely unheard of," Crawford said.

An IMPD spokesman indicated an internal investigation is underway.

Bisard’s trial is set for Oct. 14.

Follow Derrik Thomas on Twitter: @derrikthomas

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