VALPARAISO — Prosecutors are challenging the math used by a Hobart man, who claims delays in his case now entitle him to be released from jail on his own recognizance while awaiting trial.
While Christopher Dillard argues that prosecutors are to blame for 229 days of delays in his case, prosecutors argue in a newly-filed motion that the figure is actually 91 days, which gives them an equal amount of time to bring him to trial.
Dillard's request for immediate release is based on a criminal rule that says no defendant shall be held longer than an aggregate of six months in jail without a trial. The clock begins ticking with an arrest or filing of a criminal charge, whichever comes later, according to prosecutors.
While acknowledging a 600-day delay caused by the defense, which extended the deadline for trial correspondingly, Dillard has argued prosecutors still have failed to meet the total six-month obligation.
Dillard is charged with murdering 23-year-old Nicole Gland, of Portage, on April 19, 2017, by stabbing her in her vehicle in a parking area behind the former Upper Deck Lounge, 139 S. Calumet Road in Chesterton.
He was charged April 21, 2017, and prosecutors spell out in their motion the length of each delay they believe should be attributed to Dillard.
Prosecutors argue they are responsible for 91 days of delay, leaving them 91 days to bring him to trial. A trial is scheduled for Sept. 30.
A hearing on the motion for release is scheduled for 2 p.m. Aug. 20 before Porter Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Clymer.
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The defense is also asking Clymer to again consider its request to move the murder case out of Porter County or at least pick a jury from another county to hear the trial.
The defense has argued that a fair and impartial jury cannot be found in Porter County because of all the pretrial publicity of the case.
Clymer denied the request in April, saying extra precaution will take place during jury selection. If there is additional evidence that a fair, unbiased jury cannot be selected, Clymer said he will consider another motion.
Defense attorney and public defender Russell Brown Jr. said he has sent subpoenas to area media, including The Times, seeking records of their social media reach on stories involving the case.
Clymer said the issue will be addressed on Aug. 23, which is the date of the final pretrial hearing in the case.