Dr. Krista Latham,
a forensic anthropologist at University of Indianapolis, testified yesterday
in the Upper Deck murder case.
Latham is the
director of UI’s Human Identification Center, which is the only fully
dedicated forensic anthropology lab in the state. She is also
board-certified in forensic anthropology--a status she shares with only
about 100 active practitioners worldwide.
she was contacted by Deputy Prosecutor Mary Ryan to assist in the
investigation of the murder of Nicole Gland, a bartender at the former Upper
Deck Lounge, 139 S. Calumet Road, Chesterton, who was killed behind the bar
in the early hours of April 19, 2017.
she examined part of Gland’s cranium that included part of the occipital and
parietal bones (the right rear of the head). Latham said there were two
“sharp force” wounds to the area she examined.
The wounds indicate
the weapon that caused them was used in a downward motion and could not have
had a serrated blade, according to Latham.
Sheriff’s Police Captain Jeff Biggs earlier had testified that he furnished
Latham with a copy of the same type of knife that was discovered missing
from a kitchen knife block at the home Dillard shared with his
then-girlfriend. Ryan brought out that replica, a “slicer” knife with an
8.5-inch non-serrated blade labeled exhibit 111, to show the jury.
“Something like this could not be excluded from what caused those wounds.”
Latham added, however, that she did not directly compare that knife to the
marks on the bone and that she does not have the technology to do such “tool
examination, Dillard’s attorney Russell W. Brown asked Latham if it’s true
some serrated knives don’t leave striations on bone. Latham said she
couldn’t speak to that because knives are not her area of expertise, and she
usually examines remains without first knowing what caused a wound.
afternoon, Porter Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Clymer was notified that a
juror reported an instance of someone trying to contact her about the case.
The Juror was separated from the others for questioning under oath.
The Juror reported
a coworker texted her asking if she was “a juror in the murder case.” The
Juror said she did not respond, but then got another text, from the same
person, that said another one of her coworkers is connected to the Gland
family. She testified she also did not respond to that.
Brown asked the
Juror if the connection between her coworker and the Gland family will
affect her deliberations. She said it won’t.
Clymer ruled the
Juror can continue hearing evidence and thanked her for reporting the
No court Oct. 31
Clymer said it came
to his attention that the thermostat in the jury room needs repairing, and
said the repairs will be completed today, Oct. 31. He said the jury will
have the day off and directed them to return to continue hearing evidence
Friday, Nov. 1 at 1 p.m.
Clymer said missing
a day will not extend the trial, which is scheduled to conclude next week.