Dennis Oland’s murder retrial resumes in Saint John with closing arguments

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Dennis Oland’s murder retrial resumes in Saint John with closing arguments

by - 3 min read

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Closing arguments in Dennis Oland’s murder retrial in the 2011 death of his father, multimillionaire Richard Oland, are scheduled to begin in Saint John on Thursday.

The Crown and defence are each expected to speak for about 30 minutes and then answer any lingering questions from Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Terrence Morrison.

Both parties filed detailed post-trial briefs with the court last month, but the documents are not being made public until oral arguments are complete.

Court is scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m. AT. Two days have been set aside.

Oland, 51, is being retried for second-degree murder after the New Brunswick Court of Appeal in 2016 overturned his conviction, citing an error in the trial judge’s instructions to the jury.

His judge-alone retrial began last November and the presentation of evidence took 44 days spanning four months.

The court heard from the last of 61 witnesses in March and has been adjourned since then to give the lawyers time to prepare their summations.

Morrison has said he doubts he’ll deliver his decision before June 7 — just one month shy of the eight-year anniversary of Richard Oland’s death.

The body of 69-year-old was found face down in a pool of blood in his investment firm office on the morning of July 7, 2011.

He had suffered 45 sharp- and blunt-force injuries to his head, neck and hands. No weapon was found and the only item missing was his cellphone.

His son is the last known person to have seen him alive when he visited him at his office the night before.

The Crown alleges the motive was money. They contend Oland was “on the edge financially,” overspending by about $14,000 a month with his credit maxed-out and income as a financial adviser shrinking.

A key piece of evidence in the Crown’s case is the brown Hugo Boss sports jacket Oland was wearing the night his father was killed. It was later found to have four small bloodstains on it — two on the right sleeve, one on the upper left chest and one on the back, in the middle, near the hem.

The DNA extracted from three of the stains matched his father’s profile with a certainty of one in 20 quintillion, the trial heard. By comparison, the estimated world population is only between seven and eight billion.

Experts could not say how the blood got on the jacket or how long it had been there.

The final communication received by the victim’s missing cellphone before it went silent was transmitted by a cell tower near Renforth wharf in the neighbouring community of Rothesay, where Oland told police he stopped on his way home from visiting his father.

For the defence, the testimony of a man who heard thumping noises coming from the victim’s uptown Saint John office around 7:30 p.m. on the night of the killing is crucial.

They have timestamped security video of Oland shopping with his wife at 7:38 p.m. in Rothesay, which is about a 15- or 20-minute drive from the city.

A jury found Oland guilty in December 2015 and he was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for at least 10 years. He served about 10 months before the appeal court quashed his conviction and released him on bail.

Oland, who continues to live in the community under conditions, has maintained his innocence from the beginning and members of his extended family have stood by him.

This story originally appeared on CBC

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