Chesterton Tribune



Neighbor heard screams the night of the murder

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The jury heard from two witnesses on Monday who were in the area behind the Upper Deck Lounge in Chesterton in the early hours of April 19, 2017, the night Nicole Gland was murdered behind the bar--one witness said she was woken up by screams.

Christopher Dillard stands accused of killing Gland on that date after she finished her shift as a bartender at the former Upper Deck Lounge, 139 S. Calumet Road, Chesterton. Gland was found slumped over in her vehicle, which had come to rest against a dumpster, behind the offices of the Chesterton Tribune at approximately 9 a.m. that morning. Security footage shows she left the bar at approximately 2:52 a.m.

Betty Kennoy, who lived in an apartment in the building beside Upper Deck at the time, testified on Monday that she was woken up by “screaming and yowling” from two voices, one male and one female, in the early hours of April 19. She said she first heard the woman’s voice, screaming, through her closed bedroom window. This happened at 2:33 a.m. according to her beside clock, she said.

When Chief Deputy Prosecutor Armando Salinas asked Kennoy to describe the screaming she heard, Kennoy became visibly distraught and struggled to answer. Instead of describing the kind of scream she heard, she imitated it loudly, which startled some in the audience and jury.

Kennoy testified, through sobbing, that she didn’t call police and fell back asleep after she heard the screams. “That noise was so bad,” she said. Several times during her testimony, Kennoy said, softly and through tears, that she wished she had done something.

Kennoy said she had to let her dog out about an hour after she heard the screams, which is when she noticed the silver SUV in which Gland’s body would later be found pressed up against a dumpster--she did not approach it.

A juror, in a question submitted to Judge Jeffrey Clymer, asked Kennoy if she had ever before heard similar screams in her seven years of living in that apartment. Though she told the defense in a follow-up question that she had heard screaming and fighting before, she answered, “None like that.”

Later Monday, Amber Bigman testified that she was a carrier for the Northwest Indiana Times in 2017, and delivered the morning papers to the back entrance of the Chesterton Tribune at approximately 3:45 a.m. on April 19. There, she said she saw a silver SUV against a dumpster, but she didn’t think to call police.

There were no lights on in the car, and it wasn’t running, Bigman said. She said she couldn’t clearly see if there was a person in the vehicle, though it looked like there was something or someone slumped over.

Bigman said she didn’t think to call police because she thought it was “someone who got a little too drunk and was sleeping it off.”

On cross examination, Brown asked how Bigman estimated the time she arrived at the Chesterton Tribune. She said it was correct to say she estimated the time by how long it took her to travel between the distribution center where she picked up the papers and her stops.



Posted 10/29/2019




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