deliberated for approximately 10 hours and 10 minutes yesterday, ultimately
finding Christopher Dillard guilty of the murder of Nicole Gland.
The jury started
deliberations at 1:30 p.m. yesterday, and their verdict was read in Porter
Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Clymer’s court on the top floor of the Porter
County Courthouse at 11:50 p.m. Relieved crying from Gland’s family,
friends, and supporters followed.
The victory follows
in the wake of fear and ire from the Duneland community after Chesterton
Police actions resulted in key evidence being ruled inadmissible at trial. A
state appeals court threw out the majority of a 12-hour interrogation, in
which Dillard confessed to his girlfriend in recorded statements such as “I
destroyed my life,” and “I killed that girl”, when it ruled that CPD Chief
Dave Cincoski ignored Dillard’s requests for an attorney.
told the Chesterton Tribune just after the verdict that justice had
been served for their daughter. They also thanked everyone who has supported
them, including but not limited to their family, friends, and the Duneland
“We’re thankful to
all the law enforcement officers that were involved in the case in the past
two and a half years since day one, and especially the task force formed by
Gary German to lead the case to its rightful end,” said Gland’s father Matt
Others who waited
for the decision until almost midnight last night congratulated Deputy
Prosecutor Mary Ryan for delivering a powerful rebuttal to the Defense’s
closing statement, and a group of Gland family and supporters held a round
of applause for Ryan and Chief Deputy Prosecutor Armando Salinas outside the
Prosecutor Gary German said in a late night email, “The success of the
Dillard trial is the great work of the following task force members: PCSD
Jeff Biggs and Brian Dziedzinski; Valpo PD Melanie Sheets; Portage PD Mike
Vaughn and Kurt Biggs; and ISP Mike Bailey. And of course, the work of two
great trial lawyers: Mary Ryan and Armando Salinas. Our entire community
should be very proud of the hard work they all devoted to the case.”
Clymer is scheduled
to sentence Dillard at a hearing Thursday, Jan. 2, 2020. Gland’s loved ones
will be welcome to speak for the record about how her murder impacts their
lives on that date.
Salinas said in his
closing statement that Gland was a working person just trying to make ends
meet who had no idea her shift at the former Upper Deck Lounge that night
would be her last. She was killed behind the bar just after closing time on
April 19, 2017. Gland had been a bartender there, and Dillard a bouncer.