Chesterton Tribune



Witness testifies Dillard had 'crush' on Nicole Gland

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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.

Several witnesses 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 he returned.

Beverly Galle, 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.

Pam Govert 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.



Posted 10/25/2019




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