Yesterday the jury
in the Upper Deck murder case heard testimony from the Indiana State Police
crime scene investigator who examined Nicole Glandís SUV and Christopher
Dillard has pled
not guilty to killing Gland behind the Upper Deck Lounge, formerly at 139 S.
Calumet Road, Chesterton, after she closed the bar in the early hours of
April 19, 2017. Dillard had been a bouncer at Upper Deck while Gland was a
Glandís body was
found slumped over in her SUV, which had hit and come to rest against a
dumpster behind the office of the Chesterton Tribune, directly next
door to The Upper Deck. Witnesses have testified that Dillard was driving a
black 1997 Ford Ranger pickup truck at the time of the murder.
Police Sergeant and Crime Scene Investigator Gerald Michalak testified
yesterday that he examined and collected evidence from both vehicles the day
after the murder. He went through a number of photographs he took during the
examination and explained them to the jury.
Michalak said he
swabbed several areas of the carís interior including the ceiling, the rear
and front passenger side doors, and the rear passenger side window. He
collected two hairs (one from the steering wheel and one from the window
track of the rear passenger side window), a Bic lighter, a white paper bag
that appeared to be stained with blood, a cup lid and straw, a food wrapper,
and fingerprints from both the inside and outside of the vehicle.
fingerprints, swabs, and white paper bag were all subject to additional
testing at the ISP Lowell lab, Michalak said. He also said that a white
powdery substance on the front passenger side of Glandís vehicle
field-tested positive for cocaine.
In the cab of
Dillardís truck, Michalak said he found a pair of black or gray work gloves,
one of which contained a plastic bag of a plant-like material that field
tested positive for the active ingredient in marijuana, and a box of
cigarettes that contained a small bag with a white powdery substance. There
was no evidence of biological material on the gloves, Michalak said.
Kimberly Ivanyo, a
forensic scientist assigned to the drug unit at ISPís Lowell lab, later
testified that the material found in the glove turned out to be 20.92 grams
of marijuana and the powder from the cigarette box turned out to be 1.53
grams of cocaine.
Michalak said he
also found a utility knife, some prescription pill bottles, a debit card
belonging to Dillardís then-girlfriend, and some janitorial supplies in the
cab of the truck. The bed of the truck was nearly filled with scrap metal,
On cross, Dillardís
defense attorney Russell W. Brown presented Michalak with items the
Chesterton Police Department collected at the scene of the crime and then
began a line of questioning about what Michalak hypothetically would or
would not collect at a scene.
Brown asked if
Michalak would typically collect blood found on the ground at a scene.
Michalak said he doesnít always collect blood from everywhere that it is
present at a scene. He decides what appears relevant based on the totality
of the circumstances.
Michalak if he had seen a photo of what could have been a drop of blood on
the ground between Glandís front driver side tire and the dumpster her
vehicle was found against. Brown has previously questioned why CPD didnít
collect the red substance shown in that photo.
Michalak said he
had seen it. Brown asked if Michalak would have collected that. Michalak
said it would depend. ďThere is no way to tell in a photo if a substance is
blood. The totality of the scene would dictate that,Ē he added.
On redirect, Deputy
Prosecutor Mary Ryan asked Michalak how he would decide what blood to
collect at a scene. Michalak said, at a scene where there is a lot of blood,
he would look for something that ďyou kind of raise your eyebrow at.Ē ďWe
look for blood that might look out of place, and thatís where we start with
collection,Ē he added.
Brown did not ask
if Michalak found any blood in Dillardís truck, but Michalak did not report
finding any, and none of his photographs of the truck appeared to show
Tim Pycraft, a
forensic scientist specializing in prints and impressions at the ISP Lowell
lab, said he examined fingerprints lifted from the outside of Glandís
driverís side window, first comparing them to Gland and Dillard. They were
not compatible with Dillardís prints, but Pycraft said he was initially able
to determine that at least one of them was not Glandís.
Sheriffís Police Captain Jeff Biggs testified that he submitted fingerprints
from 16 people who may have had contact with Glandís vehicle--including
family, friends, her boyfriend, some police officers, the tow truck drivers
who removed her SUV from the scene, and others--in hopes of Pycraft finding
The prints on the
window turned out to be from Zach Muller, the former Chesterton Tribune
press operator who first discovered her vehicle, Pycraft said. Muller
testified on the first day of trial that he smacked the driverís side window
of the vehicle in an effort to rouse Gland, who he first thought was passed