scientist for the Indiana State Police Lowell laboratory testified Friday
that skin cells from Christopher Dillard were found on the clothes Nicole
Gland was wearing when she was murdered.
Scientist Daun Powers reported she performed DNA testing and analysis on
evidence collected in relation to the murder of Nicole Gland, a bartender at
the former Upper Deck Lounge, 139 S. Calumet Road, Chesterton, who was
killed behind the bar in the early hours of April 19, 2017. Dillard, who was
a bouncer at the bar, has pled not guilty and is on trial for the murder.
Powers began her
testimony by saying that phrases such as ďDNA matchĒ heard on TV are not the
proper language for DNA analysis and that she would be speaking about
probability and the mathematical relationships that can explain the data
collected from evidence.
Powers said she
swabbed and tested areas of the clothes Gland was wearing when she was
killed and found a strong indication of the presence of skin calls from
Dillard on Glandís right sleeve. Powers said it was 21 million times more
likely that the cells belonged to Dillard than to someone else.
Powers also found a
strong indication of the presence of skin cells from Dillard on the left
upper thigh area of Glandís jeans. That sample was 640 billion times more
likely to belong to Dillard than to anyone else. DNA from the right thigh of
Glandís jeans, however, more likely came from an unknown person not related
to Gland. Powers said this result shows ďlimited supportĒ the DNA didnít
belong to Dillard because the scenario is only 12 times more likely.
Samples from the
chest area of Glandís shirt were either from Gland or an unknown person.
Dillard was excluded from contributing to that sample, Powers said. A hair
found in the upper trim of the rear passenger side window of Glandís SUV was
found to be from an unknown male, but that unknown male is not the same
person who left skin cells on Gland, according to Powers.
the results she got from each item she tested. A hair found on Gland and a
hair found on her steering wheel did not have sufficient root material for
testing. Swabs of the interior of her rear passenger side door and fabric on
the ceiling also didnít have sufficient DNA for analysis. Smudges on the
inside of the rear passenger window and a cigarette butt found on the ground
were from different unknown females. The female DNA inside the vehicle was
not a familial match for Gland, Powers said.
Dillard from contributing to a sample taken from the rear interior passenger
door handle of Glandís SUV. A razorblade from the scene had no blood on it.
A white paper bag in the backseat of the SUV had only Glandís blood on it.
Evidence collected for a sexual assault analysis kit during the forensic
autopsy retuned no foreign DNA, Powers said.
examination, Dillardís defense attorney Russel W. Brown asked Powers to
clarify if Dillardís DNA was found anywhere in Glandís SUV. Powers said it
wasnít. He then asked if people are known to shed 50 million skin cells per
day. Powers said thatís true.
Brown also picked
up a water pitcher from the table he sits at with Dillard. He asked Powers
if its possible that his wifeís DNA is on that pitcher, transferred from
him, even though she has never been in the courtroom. Powers said that was
In a question
submitted to Judge Jeffrey Clymer, a juror asked Powers if Dillardís DNA
could be found on Gland the next morning if he had touched her earlier in
the day. Powers said she couldnít say for sure that it wouldnít.
Porter County Jail
Officer Captain James Ryan Taylor testified Porter County Sheriffís Police
Captain Jeff Biggs asked him to review footage from the jail to try to
determine if Dillard was left- or-right-handed. Taylor said he observed
Dillard using both his left and right hands to eat and gesture in
conversations with other inmates.
ISP Detective Brian
Kubiak said he was tasked with collecting security footage from the night of
the murder that was captured outside a law office on S. Calumet Road. He
reviewed that footage and the owner of that office agreed to copy and send
the footage along, Kubiak said.
Kubiak said he also
attempted to retrieve footage from two homeowners in the Pleasant Valley
mobile home park and storage area, which is where Glandís phone last pinged
and where a Police K9 picked up Dillardís scent and led Police to the
Kubiak said he
viewed footage from one homeowner whose camera had water on the lens, which
blurred the image. All Kubiak was able to see was taillights from a few
vehicles. He said make and model were not visible. However, Kubiak found the
videoís timestamp to be off by about two hours. The homeowner agreed to
later provide footage from the right timeframe, Kubiak said, though he was
not the officer who later went back for it. A second homeowner with a
security camera also agreed to provide footage, but Kubiak testified he
didnít know if anyone ever went back for it.
Jacob Schoon, a
Griffith Police Department Detective involved in the Major Crimes Task
Force, said he assisted in searching for evidence by escorting a K9 officer
and his bloodhound. Schoon said no evidence was recovered along a trail the
dog tracked south on Calumet Road.
Schoon said the dog
alerted to a specific unit at the Pleasant Valley Storage area, but the unit
was abandoned and a search of it yielded nothing of value. The Task Force
also obtained permission to search every storage unit there that was more
than 60 days in arrears and checked the roof of the storage building and
found nothing of value, Schoon said.
testified he was tasked with collecting footage from a homeowner in the
Pleasant Valley mobile home park. Upon reviewing that footage, Schoon said
he saw a small, dark-colored pickup truck drive down the Parkís main road at
approximately 4:37 a.m. Schoon said his opinion is that truck was not
Dillardís because of the size of the truckís wheel wells.