The Indiana Supreme
Court, as of yesterday, Dec. 6, at 2:29 p.m., has declined to revisit the
Sept. 7 Indiana Appeals Court ruling in which the Court elected to suppress
all statements made by accused murderer Christopher Dillard after he
requested counsel in an April 20, 2017 interrogation with Chesterton Police
Chief Dave Cincoski, during which Dillard also made incriminating statements
to his girlfriend in a taped conversation.
Dillard is accused
of the murder of Nicole Gland, who was a bartender at the Upper Deck Lounge,
formerly at 139 S. Calumet Road in Chesterton. Gland’s body was found in her
car on the morning of April 19, 2017 directly behind the offices of the
Chesterton Tribune. The results of a forensic autopsy later revealed
that she was stabbed 24 times in the head, neck, and torso.
attorney, Bob Harper, released a statement this morning saying the decision
“upholds basic constitutional principles. To rule otherwise, the Courts
would be telling law enforcement that it is alright to take someone in
custody without a warrant, hold them for 11-12 hours without being able to
call family or an attorney, deprive them of their medicine after several
requests and continue questioning after repeated requests to talk to an
According to the
Sept. 7 Appeals Court decision, Cincoski’s interrogation of Dillard began at
approximately 10:30 p.m. April 20, 2017, and concluded at approximately
10:32 a.m. the next day. 87 minutes in--at 11:57 p.m.--Dillard made his
first of several requests for legal counsel.
further says that in the hours following, Cincoski denied several of
Dillard’s requests for diabetes medication and at one point questioned
Dillard for about 20 minutes while Dillard was face down on the floor of the
interrogation room. The decision states that Dillard’s girlfriend was let
into the interrogation room to speak with him alone at his request at 10:13
a.m., though Dillard was warned that the room was recorded and there was no
expectation of privacy inside. Subsequently, Dillard made incriminating
statements to his girlfriend, including, “I destroyed my life,” and “I
killed that girl.”
admission, and everything else said after 11:57 p.m. in the course of the
interrogation, is among the fruit from the poisonous tree rejected by the
Court on the basis of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Miranda v.
Arizona, which established that an interrogation by law enforcement must
cease when a person being questioned requests an attorney, and that the
person must then be given time to confer with the attorney and has the right
to have an attorney present during further questioning.
The Appeals Court
decided that “Dillard never willingly or voluntarily waived his right to
legal counsel” because Dillard was held for over 11 hours, during which time
Cincoski ignored three of Dillard’s requests for counsel and three of
Dillard’s requests for medication and persisted in questioning him while
Dillard was trying to rest on the floor.
An order from the
Indiana Supreme Court, signed by Chief Justice of Indiana Loretta H. Rush,
states that the Ind. Supreme Court declines to review the case with all
justices in agreement.
Dillard was charged
with the murder chiefly on the strength of the taped admission he made to
his girlfriend, after an initial ruling by Judge Pro Tem Thomas Webber Sr.
that Dillard’s statements to his girlfriend were admissible because
Dillard was informed the conversation would be recorded.
deputy prosecutor handling Dillard’s case in Porter County, did not say
whether her office will pursue the case against Dillard with what evidence
remains. Polarek instead took aim at Cincoski.
“It makes it very
difficult to repair the damage done by Chief Cincoski’s interrogation of
Christopher Dillard, and the violation of his rights, when the Porter County
Prosecutor’s Office was never made aware that the Chesterton Police
Department had a suspect, much less a person in custody interrogating him,”
Polarek wrote in an email to the Chesterton Tribune.
wrote that she didn’t receive a request for a search warrant for Dillard’s
clothing, which were collected the night of the interrogation, until 5 a.m.
the morning after the interrogation was complete.
“At no time would
we have condoned the manner in which the interrogation took place, had we
been brought in on the fact that one was even taking place. In litigating
the matters before the trial court, we attempted our best effort to preserve
the admission that Christopher Dillard made to his girlfriend,” Polarek