Chesterton Tribune



Dillard jury hears recorded jail phone calls

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Christopher Dillard said “it was the drugs” in a 2017 recorded jail phone call with his then-girlfriend Beverly Galle.

Yesterday, the jury in the Upper Deck murder case heard testimony from Galle, and the Prosecution played four phone calls Dillard made to her in 2017 following his April 20, 2017 arrest for the murder of Nicole Gland.

Dillard is charged with murder and has pled not guilty to killing Gland, who was stabbed in the early hours of April 19, 2017 behind the former Upper Deck Lounge, 139 S. Calumet Road, Chesterton, after she closed the bar. Gland had been a bartender there, and Dillard a bouncer.

Galle testified Tuesday that she and Dillard had been together for 17 years at the time of the murder. The Prosecution asked Galle how often Dillard calls her from the Porter County Jail. Galle said he calls her an average of four to six times a day, and he last called her Monday night.

In the four phone calls the Prosecution played for the jury, Dillard is heard apologizing to Galle and saying, “Everything is a haze,” “I messed up bad,” and “It just takes one bad day.”

In one call, Dillard asks about one of Galle’s adult children, his stepdaughter, who Galle said didn’t want to believe Dillard could have committed the crime and had been defending him. Dillard asked Galle in that call, “Did you tell her perhaps I did it?”, and asked if Galle had explained the drug use to her daughter. Dillard also mentioned that some people in his situation take their own lives in that call, to which Galle responded, “Chris, don’t talk like that.” In another call, where Dillard said, “It only takes one bad day,” he was talking to his son and one of Galle’s sons.

In a June 23, 2017 call with Galle, Dillard said, “I just want you to know it wasn’t me. It was the drugs. It really was,” and told Galle that though she knew what the drugs did to him physically, they did worse to him mentally.

In part of that call, Galle and Dillard speak about their relationship, and Galle is heard saying that Dillard has said horrible things to her. She revealed later on cross examination that Dillard would say horrible things to her when he was drunk in the past, but that she never feared he’d turn violent.

Dillard was never specific about the incident he was referring to in these phone calls or a letter admitted into evidence.

Galle read a short excerpt from a letter Dillard sent her on Nov. 22, 2017 which she said was so sexually explicit, “It’s language that’s not in [her] vocabulary.” In the letter, Dillard told her he misses having “us time” with her.

Galle told the Prosecution she has kept every letter Dillard has sent her while he has been incarcerated and turned them over to Porter County Sheriff’s Police Captain Jeff Biggs who got a search warrant to obtain them in March 2019. She didn’t recall how many letters there were.

Dillard’s defense attorney Russell W. Brown asked Galle to read the sign-off of the letter. In it, Dillard professes his innocence and asks Galle to never give up on him or his freedom. Dillard also said in the letter that what happened was a matter of “wrong people, wrong product, wrong place, and wrong time.” Brown asked if Dillard professed innocence in other letters, and Galle said she recalled he did.

Galle told Brown on cross examination that Dillard was on the prescription medication Antabuse, which causes an adverse reaction when a patient drinks alcohol, as part of an agreement they had made to improve their relationship. She also said she had given Dillard an ultimatum and planned to break up with him over his substance abuse a couple days before the murder. As part of that, she said she took his house keys and ended service to his cell phone, which she paid for, on April 19, 2017.

Brown also asked if telling the children that one day can ruin a person’s life was consistent with conversations Dillard has had with the kids growing up. She said it was.

On redirect, Deputy Prosecutor Mary Ryan asked Galle to clarify if Dillard said he “probably did it,” on one of the phone calls. Galle said he had.

In questions submitted to Judge Jeffrey Clymer, jurors asked Galle if Dillard ever said things to her and later not remembered doing it when he used to drink more, if he blacked out in the past, and if he ever told her that he was sharing cocaine with the Upper Deck bartenders. Galle said Dillard always remembered what he said when drunk in the past, and she was never aware of him blacking out or of him sharing drugs with the bartenders.


Posted 11/6/2019




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