Chesterton Tribune



Dillard trial jury hears blood stain pattern analysis of scene

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The jury in the Upper Deck murder case Tuesday heard the conclusions that a blood stain pattern analysis expert drew upon viewing photos of the crime scene.

Dean Marks, an Indiana State Police expert on crime scene investigation specializing in blood stain pattern analysis, testified Tuesday that the person who killed Nicole Gland most likely attacked her from the front passenger seat of her vehicle.

Gland was killed in the early hours of April 19, 2017 behind the former Upper Deck Lounge, 139 S. Calumet Road, Chesterton, after she closed the bar. Glandís body was found slumped over in her SUV directly behind the offices of the Chesterton Tribune at approximately 9 a.m. that day.

Gland had been a bartender at Upper Deck. Christopher Dillard, who was a bouncer at the bar, has been charged with her murder and has pled not guilty.

A forensic pathologist testified last week that Gland had been stabbed 21 times in the head, neck, and torso, and had defensive wounds to her hands, as well as one severe, post-mortem blunt force trauma injury to her head.

Marks, a 38-year ISP employee, has conducted approximately 250 investigations involving blood stain pattern analysis, as well as taught the subject at the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy and to members of the FBI.

Blood stain pattern analysis can provide a wealth of information that helps investigators reconstruct events because itís a testable way of indicating sequences of events, movement of victims or assailants, or even types of weapons, and results from such tests are repeatable, according to Marks.

Marks said he was brought in on the Upper Deck case on Aug. 23, 2019, on which date he reviewed over 100 photos from the crime scene and the forensic autopsy performed on Gland.

Marks walked the jury through a set of photographs from the scene and explained what he gleaned from each one. Stains from inside Glandís SUV and on her clothes indicate a combination of stains from passive dripping, transfer contact, and blood in flight, he said.

Marks identified three main causes of blood stains: passive dripping, contact transfer, and blood in flight. Passive stains are caused by blood being pulled to earth by only the force of gravity, and contact transfers happen when a bloody object comes in contact with another.

Marks said there are three ways blood can become airborne: it can be cast off an object, sent airborne by impact, or expirated (released by an action such as coughing).

Marks said stains on Glandís clothes and the windshield are from blood in flight. Small stains on the back of her shirt indicate blunt force, while the chaotic pattern and variance in size of stains on the windshield suggest expirated blood, he said. Marks also noted ďtwo small areas of contact transferĒ on the interior of the rear passenger door, which indicate a lateral motion.

An overall lack of blood in the vehicle caught Marksí attention, he said. Marks said he observed less blood than he would expect on Glandís shirt, the dashboard, middle console, and driverís seat. There was also no blood on the ceiling or in the back of the vehicle.

Marks said itís most logical the assailant was in the front passenger seat of Glandís vehicle because that seat had no stains. ďIt was totally void,Ē Marks said. ďThatís an indicator there was an intermediate target that received that blood.Ē

On cross examination, Dillardís defense attorney Russell W. Brown asked if Marks is able to quantify how much blood might have ended up on the assailant. Marks said he cannot.

In a question submitted to Judge Jeffrey Clymer, a juror asked Marks if it was possible that a drop of blood could leave the front compartment of the vehicle and end up on the ground between the front tire of the vehicle and the dumpster it was found resting against. Marks said that wasnít possible because the blood droplet would have had to fly around a corner to end up there.

Since Brown has previously questioned why Chesterton Police did not collect a red substance that was photographed in that area of the scene, Brown asked Marks if he had seen the photo of the substance in question and how he would have handled it. Marks said he cannot tell from a photo if a substance is blood, but he would have field tested it, had he been on scene.


Posted 11/7/2019




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