Chesterton Tribune



Christopher Dillard files motion to dismiss in Upper Deck murder

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Christopher Dillard, who stands accused of the 2017 murder of Upper Deck Lounge bartender Nicole Gland, has filed a motion to dismiss the charges against him on the grounds that potentially crucial evidence in the case was lost.

The Defenseís motion, filed Friday, says Chesterton Police Detective Nicholas Brown recovered a kitchen knife with an eight- to 10-inch blade in the area behind the Upper Deck Lounge during the course of the investigation. The knife was thought to be from a knife block, and Brown photographed it and collected it as evidence, according to the motion.

The Defense has asked that they be allowed to inspect the knife and submit it for DNA analysis, but has been told that neither the State nor any law enforcement agency has custody of the knife, and it has been either lost or destroyed, according to the motion.

The Defense contends that the State has violated Dillardís right to due process because it did not preserve evidence--the knife-- that had the potential to exonerate Dillard.

Porter Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Clymer said he would rule on the motion to dismiss at a hearing at 1 p.m. on Oct. 10.

At a final pretrial hearing yesterday morning, Clymer also asked about the status of a coordinated effort to have a court-funded expert for the Defense observe a test of a strand of hair ordered by the State. Chief Deputy Prosecutor Armando Salinas reported the Defenseís expert did witness the test at the Indiana State Police lab and the results of the test should be available by the end of the week.

Clymer also ordered the State, per a request by the Defense, to provide a narrowed witness list to the Defense by Oct. 14.

Dillardís trial is scheduled to start Oct. 21. The jury will be selected using extra caution due to media coverage of Dillardís confession that was thrown out by an Indiana Appeals Court on the grounds that the CPD continued to question Dillard after he requested counsel three times. The Indiana Supreme Court left the Appeals Court ruling to stand by declining to hear the case.

Clymer has twice denied Defense motions for a change of venue where the Defense claims media coverage has tainted the Porter County jury pool beyond repair. Clymer has said in each denial that he will reconsider a change of venue, where Dillard would be either tried in another County or a jury from another County would be brought in, if it becomes apparent during jury selection that an impartial jury cannot be found here.

Both Gland and Dillard formerly worked at the now closed Upper Deck Lounge, 139 S. Calumet Road, Chesterton. Gland was found slumped over in her vehicle on April 19, 2017. An autopsy found she had been stabbed 24 times in the neck, head, and torso.


Posted 10/1/2019




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