Dillard, who stands accused of the 2017 murder of Upper Deck Lounge
bartender Nicole Gland, has filed a motion to dismiss the charges against
him on the grounds that potentially crucial evidence in the case was lost.
motion, filed Friday, says Chesterton Police Detective Nicholas Brown
recovered a kitchen knife with an eight- to 10-inch blade in the area behind
the Upper Deck Lounge during the course of the investigation. The knife was
thought to be from a knife block, and Brown photographed it and collected it
as evidence, according to the motion.
The Defense has
asked that they be allowed to inspect the knife and submit it for DNA
analysis, but has been told that neither the State nor any law enforcement
agency has custody of the knife, and it has been either lost or destroyed,
according to the motion.
contends that the State has violated Dillardís right to due process because
it did not preserve evidence--the knife-- that had the potential to
Court Judge Jeffrey Clymer said he would rule on the motion to dismiss at a
hearing at 1 p.m. on Oct. 10.
At a final pretrial
hearing yesterday morning, Clymer also asked about the status of a
coordinated effort to have a court-funded expert for the Defense observe a
test of a strand of hair ordered by the State. Chief Deputy Prosecutor
Armando Salinas reported the Defenseís expert did witness the test at the
Indiana State Police lab and the results of the test should be available by
the end of the week.
Clymer also ordered
the State, per a request by the Defense, to provide a narrowed witness list
to the Defense by Oct. 14.
Dillardís trial is
scheduled to start Oct. 21. The jury will be selected using extra caution
due to media coverage of Dillardís confession that was thrown out by an
Indiana Appeals Court on the grounds that the CPD continued to question
Dillard after he requested counsel three times. The Indiana Supreme Court
left the Appeals Court ruling to stand by declining to hear the case.
Clymer has twice
denied Defense motions for a change of venue where the Defense claims media
coverage has tainted the Porter County jury pool beyond repair. Clymer has
said in each denial that he will reconsider a change of venue, where Dillard
would be either tried in another County or a jury from another County would
be brought in, if it becomes apparent during jury selection that an
impartial jury cannot be found here.
Both Gland and
Dillard formerly worked at the now closed Upper Deck Lounge, 139 S. Calumet
Road, Chesterton. Gland was found slumped over in her vehicle on April 19,
2017. An autopsy found she had been stabbed 24 times in the neck, head, and