Lawyers, prosecutor's office struggle to reach plea deal for David Bisard's DUI sentencing

INDIANAPOLIS - Lawyers worked Tuesday to reach a plea deal for a 2013 OWI for former police officer David Bisard, who was also convicted last year for a 2010 crash that took one life and injured two other people. There was one hiccup with the proceedings.

RTV6's Jack Rinehart reports Tuesday's sentencing had been continued, with no deals made as of yet.

Former Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) officer Bisard has agreed to plead guilty to operating while intoxicated when he crashed his truck last year. He crashed his truck into a guardrail in April of 2013 in Lawrence, with an open bottle of vodka in the car.

In exchange for his guilty plea to the OWI, the Marion County Prosecutor's Office said it will drop the second Class-A misdemeanor charge of operating a motor vehicle with a blood-alcohol content of .15 percent or greater. Bisard reportedly tested at .22-percent BAC the day of the crash.

The only fly in the ointment, Rinehart said, was Bisard's lawyers and the prosecutor's office were unable to come to an agreement over his sentence. The prosecutor's office said it is holding out for the maximum sentence for the OWI: 1 year. 

The two parties head to court on Feb. 5 to have a showdown over the appropriate sentence.

Bisard's lawyers are ready for the fight.

"We've had discussions with the Marion County Prosecutor's Office and they seem fixated on him serving a maximum sentence," attorney John Kautzman said. "We don't think that's appropriate. Under the facts of the case, he would be treated like any other defendant. He shouldn't be facing that kind of a sentence."

In normal circumstances, with someone who perhaps had never had any prior incidents with the law, Rinehart said a misdemeanor would probably net someone probation - not jail time. But the prosecutor's office said holding out for jail time is all about holding Bisard accountable, hearkening back to the first case, in which his drunken driving led to the death of one person and the injuries of two others.

"First and foremost, in terms of timing, the death occurred before this case," Deputy Prosecutor Denise Robinson said. "We believe that's a significant aggravating factor. And secondly, it's time that David Bisard be held accountable and actually accept responsibility for something that he's done."

Bisard was found guilty last year in a trial, which determined he was drunk when he crashed his patrol car into a group of motorcyclists in 2010, killing Eric Wells and gravely injuring Mary Mills and Kurt Weekly. He was sentenced to 13 years in prison for the crash.

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