Chesterton Tribune



Jury hears details of forensic autopsy

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The jury in the Upper Deck murder case yesterday heard the details of a forensic autopsy performed on Nicole Gland.

Gland was killed behind the Upper Deck Lounge, formerly at 139 S. Calumet Road, Chesterton, in the early hours of April 19, 2017 after her bartending shift ended. Christopher Dillard, who was a bouncer at the bar, is on trial for the murder and has pled not guilty.

Deputy Prosecutor Mary Ryan called Pathologist Dr. John Feczko as the Stateís first witness yesterday afternoon. Feczko has 28 years of experience in pathology, has performed more than 5,000 autopsies, and works for three companies that perform autopsies for clients in Lake, Porter, and LaPorte counties.

Then-Porter County Coroner Chuck Harris and multiple police officers were present at Glandís autopsy to observe and take custody of evidence, Feczko said.

Feczko went through a slideshow of 28 photos from the autopsy and explained what he learned about Glandís death from each wound he documented. The majority of Glandís wounds were to her head, neck, and face, with a few defensive blows to her hands.

Feczko said he documented 22 separate wounds: 21 caused by a sharp object and one by blunt force. The severe blunt force trauma to Glandís head was the first blow Feczko documented. That blow, he said, was the only blow inflicted post-mortem.

Feczko ruled Glandís death a homicide by multiple stab wounds, three of which affected major arteries and the right lung. He said Glandís wounds indicate the knife used against her was not serrated and had a long, single-edged blade.

In February 2019, Porter County Sheriffís Police Detective Brian Dziedsinski furnished Feczko with a photo of the same type of knife that was discovered missing from a kitchen knife block at the home Dillard shared with his then-girlfriend. Feczko testified yesterday that knife could have caused Glandís wounds.

In a question submitted to Judge Jeffrey Clymer, a juror asked if Feczko was able to determine which knife wounds happened earlier or later in the attack. Feczko said he was not.

Police collected a number of items as a result of the autopsy, including fingernail clippings from Gland, Glandís clothes, and a sexual assault analysis kit Feczko completed prior to the autopsy, according to Feczko.

Indiana State Police Detective Gerald Michalak, an ISP specialist in crime scene investigation, testified he took possession of Glandís clothes, a necklace, the sexual assault analysis kit, a hair that had been found on Gland, and bone fragments retrieved for further analysis.

Michalak testified the bone fragments were sent to a forensic anthropologist. The sexual assault analysis kit, DNA and fingerprint standards for Gland, and the hair found on Gland were also subject to further testing, he said.

Feczko also collected samples for a standard toxicology report. Glandís report came back negative for alcohol and illicit drugs, according to Tina Wolter, an employee at Great Lakes Laboratory.

Witnesses who can attest to the results of Dillardís toxicology report have not yet testified, though Chesterton Police Detective Nick Brown testified samples of Dillardís blood and urine and a swab from inside his mouth were collected and sent for additional testing. CPD Chief Dave Cincoski testified he hand-delivered the blood and urine samples to the Department of Toxicology in Indianapolis the week after the murder.


Posted 10/30/2019




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