An Upper Deck
Lounge patron testified yesterday that Christopher Dillard sought advice
from him--because Dillard had a crush on Nicole Gland.
Tucker Sawyer said
his interactions with Dillard were limited to a few times when Sawyer
visited the Upper Deck Lounge. Sawyer testified he had met Dillard, whom he
knew as “Taco” the bouncer, at the bar a few times before a night in March
when Dillard approached him.
Up until that
point, Sawyer said, Dillard had always seemed nice and been “chummy” with
him, but the confession of desires for Gland was a surprise.
Sawyer recalled the
conversation happened on a weeknight--probably a Friday, he said, because it
was DJ night--about a month before the murder. Sawyer said he was at the bar
with friends between 11:30 p.m. and 2 a.m. and had between two and four
drinks. Gland was working that night, according to Sawyer.
“The Defendant told
me a month before the incident that he had a crush on Nicole” and sexual
desires for her, Sawyer said. Sawyer said Dillard further asked for advice
about whether or not he should “just drop it” or pursue the crush because he
was married and felt conflicted. Sawyer said he advised Dillard dropping it
was probably best.
On cross, Dillard’s
defense attorney Russel Brown asked Sawyer repeatedly if he could recall the
date of the conversation, but Sawyer could not.
On redirect, Chief
Deputy Prosecutor Armando Salinas asked Sawyer if he recalled Dillard’s
exact words. “He told me he thought she was sexy and that he had desires for
her,” Sawyer said.
testified Thursday and Wednesday about Dillard’s state of mind in the weeks
and days leading up to the murder and the day after. One was Tammy Moore,
who worked with Dillard and his girlfriend Beverly Galle at a Wendy’s. Moore
said Dillard showed up unannounced to her house on April 19 at approximately
6:30 p.m. to ask to borrow her phone to call Galle. She reported he seemed
“like normal Chris,” but was clearly upset and “kept distance” between them.
Alayna Johnson, who
was head bartender at the Upper Deck Lounge at the time, testified Thursday
that Dillard left the bar during a busy shift on Saturday, April 15, 2017.
He was gone approximately two hours. She said this was the only time in
about two years of working with him that he did that, and he apologized when
Dillard’s girlfriend at the time of the murder, testified Wednesday. The
Prosecution asked Galle to describe Dillard’s behavior in the weeks leading
up to April 19, 2017. She said Dillard had started using cocaine and
Adderall and drinking heavily in the month prior. He would also go missing
for days at a time.
Galle said after
one disappearance, Dillard met with her at the Hobart Lakefront and showed
her that he had a knife, one he took from her kitchen knife block, in his
truck and said he needed it for protection.
The morning of
April 19 at 6:53 a.m. (about two hours before Gland’s body would be found)
Galle said Dillard called her from the Majestic Star Casino in Gary. “He
said the thugs were gonna flash their guns at him, and that he was gonna
take care of it and come home,” she stated.
Galle said he
called her again from a friend’s house in Calumet City, Ill. and told her he
had changed his clothes. She said he also told her that he had a “600
dollar-a-day habit,” and was $18,000 in debt to some people, that ‘they’ had
taken his money, his phone, and ID and locked him up, but that “he was
smarter than them” and got away.
It was in this
phone call, Galle said, Dillard told her he had “messed up and couldn’t come
back home.” Galle said she wanted to contact the police at this point
because she didn’t know who Dillard had gotten involved with and what
information those people had.
testified she called 911 around 1 p.m. on April 19 and told the Hobart
Police that her sister, Beverly Galle, was concerned because Dillard had
been gone for a couple days and was driving around with a knife in his car.
Govert told police her sister heard something had happened at the Upper Deck
Lounge in Chesterton and needed to talk to someone about it.
On cross, Brown
asked Galle if she had ended her relationship with Dillard on April 16,
2017. She said yes, because she “chooses her family” and wouldn’t tolerate
him acting the way he was. Galle further said she removed Dillard from her
bank accounts, took his keys to their shared house, and disconnected his
cell phone, which was in her name. She didn’t specify when she edited the
account information or took Dillard’s keys, but said she didn’t disconnect
his phone until some point on April 19.