A former cell mate
of Christopher Dillard’s testified yesterday that Dillard told him details
of the night Nicole Gland was murdered.
Nicholas Stone, who
was incarcerated at Porter County Jail sharing a cell with Dillard for
approximately 50 days from July to August in 2017, said Dillard described
himself blacking out in anger on April 19, 2017. Stone testified Dillard
said he came to, saw Gland had been stabbed, and left the scene.
Dillard has pled
not guilty and is on trial accused of killing Gland in the early hours of
April 19 behind the former Upper Deck Lounge at 139 S. Calumet Road,
Chesterton, after she closed the bar. Gland had been a bartender there, and
Dillard a bouncer.
Stone said Dillard
told him that he met up with Gland outside the bar to do drugs in her SUV
the night of the murder, and Dillard said he had been hoping for “sexual
favors” in return for drugs. According to Stone, Dillard said he did use
drugs in the car, then got angry when Gland would not perform the favors he
expected. Dillard then told Stone that he “blacked out,” Stone said.
“He said he came
to, and she had been stabbed. Then he got in his car and left,” Stone said.
Stone said Dillard told him he was driving a truck at the time, didn’t
mention a weapon, and headed to his girlfriend’s house when he left.
Prosecutor Armando Salinas asked Stone if he wanted to be in the courtroom
yesterday. Stone said he had to miss work to testify, and would have rather
been working. Stone said he was subpoenaed and not offered anything in
exchange for his testimony.
examination, Dillard’s defense attorney Russell W. Brown asked Stone if he
knew about the murder before he was arrested and housed with Dillard. Stone
had heard there was a murder at a bar in Chesterton because “it was all over
the news,” but didn’t know the details, he said.
Brown asked Stone
if he was in fact arrested in July 2017 and housed with Dillard starting
July 29 that year. Stone said he was. Brown then asked if Stone had told
police about Dillard’s claims in February 2019--Stone said yes.
“So, you just
waited two years to make that statement?”, Brown asked. Stone said he didn’t
volunteer the information, but was approached by police and questioned about
Dillard at that time.
A Porter County
Jail deputy was also called upon to testify about something Dillard said
that caused him to file a report with his supervisor. Eric Roschi testified
that on June 6, 2018, he was tasked with inspecting Dillard’s cell when he
overheard Dillard talking. “He made a statement to his cell mate that he had
no problem killing,” Roschi said. Dillard said this knowing Roschi was
present and loud enough for other inmates to hear, according to Roschi.
As for Dillard’s
condition the night of the murder, Indiana Department of Toxicology Forensic
Scientist Robert Ruhl and the Department’s Quality Control
Manager/Toxicologist Sheila Arnold spoke to the results of a test of
Ruhl, who tested
the sample, testified the sample tested positive for cocaine below the
Department’s reporting threshold of 20 nanograms per milliliter of
blood--Dillard’s blood showed only one nanogram per milliliter. However, the
sample had a much higher concentration of benzoylecgonine, the metabolized
form of cocaine, at 354 nanograms per milliliter. Dillard’s blood was
negative for alcohol, Ruhl said.
Ruhl performs the
tests, but said only a Toxicologist can interpret results, so the
Prosecution next called Arnold. Arnold, who has a Ph.D. in pharmacology and
toxicology, has been the Department’s top official since 2014. She described
the amount of cocaine detected in Dillard’s blood as ” trace level.”
metabolized and converted into benzoylecgonine between three and 12 hours
after drugs are taken, Arnold said, and benzoylecgonine can be detected in
the blood for up to 48 hours after cocaine has been metabolized. Arnold said
Dillard’s blood was collected at 12:21 p.m. on April 20, 2017, according to
the evidence label.
On cross, Brown
asked Arnold if any other products break down into benzoylecgonine once
ingested. Arnold said no, “Benzoylecgonine is a unique byproduct of
A witness testified
Tuesday that Gland’s toxicology results were negative for both alcohol and