VALPARAISO — Chesterton police are now not only accused of violating accused murderer Christopher Dillard’s rights by denying him an attorney during questioning, but also by holding him for 12 hours without rest or needed medication, according to an updated motion filed in the case. The new motion resulted in a Friday hearing being rescheduled to Oct. 26 on Dillard’s request to suppress all evidence of the self-incriminating statements he made to police. The hearing was expanded from a half to a full day in the courtroom of Porter Superior Judge Bill Alexa, who is retiring Oct. 3. Dillard, 51, of Hobart, has pleaded not guilty to murdering Portage resident Nicole Gland, 24, on April 19 by stabbing her in her vehicle in a parking area behind the Upper Deck Lounge, 139 S. Calumet Road in Chesterton where she worked as a bartender.
Dillard, who worked as a bouncer at the bar, allegedly told his longtime girlfriend in a recorded interview room at the Chesterton Police Department, “I killed that girl. I didn’t mean to.” “He indicated to her that the drugs had a hold of him,” police said. Dillard’s defense attorney, Bob Harper, said his client invoked his right to an attorney several times on several different occasions during the police interrogation on April 19. “I want to just do this lawyer thing,” Dillard is quoted in the motion as saying two hours into the interrogation. Chesterton Police Chief David Cincoski continued the questioning and Dillard reportedly made several more requests for an attorney during the interrogation. The expanded motion to suppress statements further accuses police of violating Dillard’s Fifth Amendment right to due process by creating a “coercive environment.” This environment was created by the length of the interrogation, “the known and obvious lack of sleep and exhaustion of defendant,” Dillard’s need for diabetic medication known by police and “the use of defendant’s girlfriend to aid in the gathering of information by police.”
The original motion to suppress delayed the trial from Aug. 28 to Dec. 11, with a preliminary hearing Oct. 27. Alexa set aside two weeks for the trial. Dillard was picked up by police after his girlfriend tipped off the officers that he had taken her vehicle a couple of days before the killing, police said. She also reported a knife was missing from her butcher block. At one point during the police interview, Dillard said he wanted to confess to them, but ultimately changed his mind, police said.