Chesterton Tribune



Jury hears of Dillard interrogation

Back To Front Page


Date Corrected


Yesterday the jury in the Upper Deck murder case watched video of Chesterton Police Chief Dave Cincoski’s interrogation of Christopher Dillard.

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

Yesterday, the jury watched a portion of Cincoski’s interrogation of Dillard from the day after the murder and heard testimony from Cincoski and a Porter County Sheriff’s Police Detective.

Only a small portion of the approximately 12-hour interrogation was admissible at trial because an appeals court ruled that Cincoski violated Dillard’s Miranda rights because Dillard was held for over 11 hours, during which time Cincoski ignored three of his requests for counsel and requests for medication and persisted in questioning Dillard while Dillard was lying face down on the floor.

The interrogation began at 10:30 p.m. April 19, 2017, and concluded at approximately 10:32 a.m. the next day. 87 minutes in--at 11:57 p.m.--Dillard made his first request for legal counsel. Everything Dillard said after that point is fruit from the poisonous tree, including a taped confession Dillard made to his girlfriend while in police custody where he said, “I destroyed my life,” and “I killed that girl.”

Cincoski testified yesterday that he took photos of Dillard before starting his interrogation. The photos show Dillard had abrasions to the left side of his head and his left knee and a cut on his right ring finger. Dillard was wearing dark shorts, sandals, and a gray long-sleeve shirt in the photos.

In the video, Dillard said he briefly stopped at Upper Deck around 11:30 p.m. on April 18 then went to Danny O’s Bar & Grille down the road. He repeatedly denied returning to Upper Deck after leaving Danny O’s and said he went to a friend’s house in Portage to buy $200 or $300 worth of drugs. He wouldn’t say who the friend was, only that he was “not a nice guy.”

Dillard told Cincoski in the taped interview that he had used all those drugs since buying them less than 24 hours before. The video also established that Dillard didn’t leave Danny O’s with a couple hundred bucks and couldn’t say where he had gotten it.

Lindsey Janiga, who was also a bartender at Upper Deck at the time, testified last week that she usually left the bar with between $200 and $300 in tips. A former Danny O’s bartender has also testified that Dillard asked her how much money she made and if she tended to walk to her car alone the night of the murder.

Cincoski asked in the video when Dillard changed out of the jeans and flannel shirt he is seen wearing on security footage at Upper Deck and Danny O’s before Gland was killed. Dillard said he didn’t know, but it was daylight when he stopped at home and changed in his garage, leaving the clothes there.

That night, Dillard also told Cincoski he had agreed to sell $45 worth of marijuana and cocaine to Gland and left it in her car under the driver’s seat the night before the murder. Cincoski said no drugs were found in Gland’s SUV.

Cincoski asked what Dillard meant when he told his girlfriend that he had messed up and couldn’t come home the day after the murder. “Did it mean taking Nicole’s money and killing her?”, Cinsoski asked in the interview. Dillard denied that.

Dillard’s defense attorney Russel W. Brown asked Cincoski why Dillard’s clothes were packaged in paper grocery bags instead of standard evidence bags. Cincoski said the Department had run out when he was collecting Dillard’s clothes. Brown also asked if the footage eventually collected from Danny O’s was from the wrong date. Cincoski said that was correct, from his understanding.

Brown asked if Dillard denied going back to Upper Deck 30 times in the interview. Cincoski said he hadn’t counted.

Brown then asked if Cincoski was removed from the case or the case was reassigned away from him at some point. Cincoski said the case was taken over by a task force, but he doesn’t know that he was deliberately removed. “I was asked by the Prosecutor’s office if I minded if they formed a task force to review evidence in preparation for trial,” he said.

Brown then asked if it was true Cincoski also interviewed Gland’s then-boyfriend Santos Ortiz following the murder. Cincoski said he had. “Does Santos Ortiz have an alibi?”, Brown asked. Cincoski said Ortiz doesn’t. Cincoski had told Dillard in the video that Dillard needed an alibi.

PCSP Detective Mike Spicer testified that he was asked to look for Dillard’s clothes after Dillard revealed in the interview that he had gone home to change and left his clothes in the garage.

Spicer said he and another Detective went to the home Dillard shared with his then-girlfriend Beverly Galle and got her consent to search the garage. They did not search the house.

In the garage, they found a large pile of scrap metal covered in dust and cobwebs that looked as if it hadn’t been disturbed in a while. They searched the entire garage, including the rafters, and searched the pile by climbing and moving larger items. They found nothing after about an hour and a half, Spicer said.

Brown asked if the Detectives had moved all the scrap metal out of the garage. Spicer said they hadn’t, but there was no possibility that they missed something. He said they would have noticed if anything had been disturbed recently, and they were able to look down on the pile with flashlights.

Spicer said he was also asked to confirm that Family Dollar stores Dillard may have visited in Hammond and Calumet City on April 19 sold the brand of clothes Dillard was wearing when he was arrested. They confirmed that those stores, and the two Family Dollars closest to Dillard’s home, do carry those clothes. The stores in Lake Station and Hobart didn’t have surveillance footage, and Dillard was not seen in footage at the other stores, according to Spicer.

In a question submitted to Judge Jeffrey Clymer, a juror asked Spicer to describe Galle’s demeanor when they came to search the garage. Spicer said Galle was very helpful and cooperative.



Posted 11/5/2019




Search This Site:

Custom Search