Chesterton Tribune



Defense calls 2 witnesses

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The Defense called two witnesses before closing arguments started yesterday in the Upper Deck murder case.

The Prosecution rested its case Tuesday against Christopher Dillard, who pled not guilty to the murder of Nicole Gland. Gland was killed behind the former Upper Deck Lounge at 139 S. Calumet Road, Chesterton in the early hours of April 19, 2017 after she closed the bar. Gland had been a bartender there, and Dillard a bouncer.

Dillard’s defense attorney Russell W. Brown first called Cole Feitshans, who lived in the building next to Upper Deck at the time of the murder. Brown asked if Feitshans wanted to be in court. He said he didn’t and was missing work for the second day in a row to testify, in compliance with a subpoena.

Feitshans testified he was talking with his neighbor Marshall Kennoy in the area behind their buildings--the same area where Gland was killed--around Sept. 2017 when they discovered a knife under a downspout.

Feitshans described seeing “a shiny object glinting in the sunlight” and said he thought to call the police because of the murder that had taken place five months prior. A Chesterton Police officer in a marked squad car subsequently showed up, photographed the knife, collected it in an evidence bag, and left with it, according to Feitshans.

Feitshans described the knife as approximately 12 inches long including its wooden handle, with a 7- or 8-inch tapered, non-serrated blade. He said it was the type of knife one chops vegetables with --not a standard steak knife.

CPD Detective Nick Brown testified Tuesday that he was the officer who responded to the scene that day and that he did not collect the knife or photograph it because it was a standard steak knife that appeared to have fallen from the back deck of the former Octave Grill restaurant directly above where it was found. Feitshans said yesterday the knife was in a grassy area north of the deck, not underneath it.

Chief Deputy Prosecutor Armando Salinas asked Feitshans on cross examination if he had mentioned that the knife was not serrated in his initial Feb. 2019 interview with police. Feitshans said he didn’t recall, though he later testified he was not asked about the type of blade in that interview.

Salinas also asked if Feitshans knew the officer who responded that day. Feitshans said he did not. After Feitshans told the jury he knows Detective Brown from prior contact, Salinas asked, “You don’t like Nick Brown at all, do you?” Feitshans agreed.

Attorney Brown redirected to ask Feitshans if he was testifying because he doesn’t like Detective Brown, which Feitshans denied. “There’s no way my dislike for a police officer from when I was a teenager has anything to do with a murder trial,” Feitshans said. “Those are worlds away from each other.”

Attorney Brown next called Dillard’s former girlfriend Beverly Galle back to the stand. She has testified several times already for the Prosecution.

Galle testified that two people who worked at a Wendy’s with her and Dillard in 2017 lived in the Pleasant Valley mobile home park at that time--the same area where Gland’s cell phone last pinged and where a police K9 tracked Dillard’s scent to a particular storage unit in the adjoining storage area following the murder.

The Defense rested after Galle testified, and she was released from her subpoena to stay in the courtroom and watch closing arguments.



Posted 11/7/2019




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