Chesterton Tribune



Accused murderer Christopher Dillard seeks release from jail

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Christopher Dillard, the man charged with the slaying of Upper Deck bartender Nicole Gland early on the morning of April 19, 2017, is seeking to be immediately released from the Porter County Jail--“on his own recognizance”--pending his murder trial, set to begin on Sept. 30.

Specifically, Dillard is arguing that the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office has not brought him to trial in a timely fashion, that is, within six months from the date on which Dillard was formerly charged with murder, on April 21, 2017.

In a motion filed on Monday, Dillard’s new attorney, Russell W. Brown Jr., quotes Indiana Criminal Rule 4(A) in support of his client’s immediate release from PCJ: “No defendant shall be detained in jail on a charge, without a trial, for a period in aggregate embracing more than six months from the date the criminal charge against such defendant is filed,” and should a defendant be detained past the aggregate of six months he or she “shall be released on his own recognizance.”

Brown is careful to note that delays, continuances, or postponements initiated by the defense do not count against the state’s clock: “When a defendant seeks or acquiesces in a delay, the time limitations are extended by the length of the delay,” as Brown put it in the motion.

Thus, according to a timeline included in the motion, Brown calculates that--after allowance is made for the continuances sought by Dillard’s previous attorney, Bob Harper, as well as for the suppression and change-of-venue motions filed by Harper, accounting for 600 days not charged to the state--Dillard has been detained at PCJ on the state’s clock for an aggregate of 229 days: 49 days longer than the six months stipulated by Criminal Rule 4(A).

Brown further calculates that the clock was running on the state from April 21, when Dillard was formally charged, through July 21, 2017, when Harper filed the motion to suppress (91 days); from Dec. 11, 2018, when the Indiana Court of Appeals certified its ruling to suppress Dillard’s statements while being interviewed, through Jan. 10, 2019, when Harper filed the change-of-venue motion (30 days); and then from April 13, 2019, when Clymer denied the motion, through, July 29, when Brown filed the motion to release Dillard from PCJ (108 days). Total: 229 days.

Brown also notes the following: that “the state has an affirmative duty under Indiana Criminal Rule 4 to bring (the defendant) to trial within the time constraints of the rules”; and that “a defendant has no obligation to remind the trial court of the state’s duty, nor is he required to take any affirmative action to see that he is brought to trial within the statutory time period.”

Porter Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Clymer is set to rule on Dillard’s motion on Friday, Aug. 16.

The body of Gland, 24, was discovered in the driver’s seat of her car at approximately 9:10 a.m. April 19, 2017, next to a dumpster behind the offices of the Chesterton Tribune. An autopsy determined that she’d been stabbed 24 times, including defensive wounds to both hands and forearms. Gland worked as a bartender at the now defunct Upper Deck, where Dillard also worked at the time, as a bouncer.



Posted 7/31/2019






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