FORT WAYNE, Ind. - A judge ordered former IMPD Officer David Bisard to spend 13 years in prison for his actions in a 2010 crash that killed a motorcyclist and injured two others.
The surviving victims attended the sentencing. The family of Eric Wells, who was killed in the crash, was also present at the hearing.
Bisard spoke in court at his sentencing. He apologized and took responsibility for the crash, but said he won’t admit that he was drunk when the crash happened.
Bisard had a blood-alcohol content of 0.19 percent during what he called the "tragic collision."
Bisard’s courtroom denial that he was drunk did not sit well with the victims and family members.
"To sit there in that courtroom and deny being drunk is pretty sad. Pretty sad. And it tells me unless you want help, I don't care what is available, it's not gonna work for you," Eric Wells’ father, Aaron Wells, said.
Wells' mother wanted a stiffer sentence, but accepts the 13 years.
"He will walk out, he will embrace his family. He took that away from my family and myself. We will never be able to embrace Eric again – only in our hearts. So no, there is no sentence, other than a life-sentence that would replace my son’s life," Mary Wells said.
Mary Mills was severely injured in the crash and has partially recovered, but says she lives in constant pain. Her now-husband, Kurt Weekly, was injured as well and is recovering. Both want Bisard to get alcohol treatment.
Officials said that justice had been served.
"Well obviously we had requested a lengthier term than the 13 years, but I think that the judge appropriately weighed all the circumstances and I guess Aaron Wells put it best when he left the courtroom. He told me that they were going back confident that justice had been served," Deputy Prosecutor Denise Robinson said after the sentencing. "The best outcome is that David Bisard goes to prison, he serves his sentence and he comes out, he’s a good father to his children and he never causes any harm and he’s never arrested again. For me, that is the best result."
Bisard's legal woes are not over. A pre-trial hearing for his second drunken driving arrest is set for December.
Follow Derrik Thomas on Twitter: @derrikthomas