Dennis Oland found guilty of second degree murder
SAINT JOHN, N.B. – A jury in New Brunswick has found Dennis Oland guilty of second-degree murder in connection with the 2011 bludgeoning death of his father.
Tears streamed down Oland’s face as he listened to the verdict just before 11:30 a.m. AT Saturday. Sobs could be heard from Oland’s family.
“We are disappointed and dismayed by the outcome of the trial,” Dennis’ uncle Derek wrote in a statement released shortly after the verdict was delivered.
“We want to reiterate that all Oland family members are certain Dennis had nothing to do with the death of his father. We are proud of Dennis and we continue to place our trust in the expertise of his legal team.”
“I am extremely proud of my son Dennis and he will continue to have our love and support in the difficult days ahead,” mother Connie Oland wrote in a second statement.
“We wish to thank our family and friends for their love and tireless encouragement and respectfully ask that everyone continues to respect our privacy.”
Walsh also thanked the jury, who started deliberations on Wednesday after a 50-day trial.
WATCH ABOVE: Court observer says he’s “shocked” after Dennis Oland receives guilty verdict
Oland had pleaded not guilty to murdering his father, Richard Oland, who was a prominent New Brunswick businessman and his father. The elder Oland was found dead in his Saint John office on July 7, 2011.
He had suffered 45 blunt and sharp force blows to his head, neck and hands.
COMPLETE COVERAGE: Dennis Oland murder trial
During the trial, the Crown focused on possible issues of motive including Dennis Oland’s financial difficulties and the knowledge that his father was having an affair.
But in his own testimony, Oland downplayed his finances as a recurring issue in the life of a financial adviser, and said he had not discussed his finances or the affair with this father.
The defence called just three witnesses: blood spatter expert Patrick Laturnus, forensic computer analyst Geoffrey Fellows, and Oland himself. The Crown called more than 40 witnesses.
Pathologist Dr. Ather Naseemuddin, who performed the autopsy on Richard Oland, described the injuries to his body in detail, including 14 skull fractures.
The jury also heard a detailed description of the hundreds of blood spatter stains at the crime scene and were told the killer or killers would likely have gotten blood on them.
During an interview with police on July 7, 2011, Oland told Const. Stephen Davidson that his father was a difficult person at times but rose to the occasion and funded his divorce. Oland said he didn’t have any involvement in his father’s death.
“I had no reason to kill him,” he said.
Oland also told police that he visited his father’s office twice on July 6, 2011, and that he had been wearing a navy blazer. Testimony from witnesses and surveillance camera video showed Oland wearing a brown jacket, and it was eventually learned from Oland himself that he went back to the office a third time to retrieve a logbook for his uncle.
The Crown pointed to those inconsistencies when cross-examining Oland, who said at the time of his statement to police he was nervous and in shock.
The work of the Saint John Police Department was also under scrutiny, particularly at the crime scene.
The jury was told officers used the back door of the building before it could be fingerprinted. They used a washroom for two days before it could be examined, and they did not ask a pathologist to determine if a drywall hammer was the probable murder weapon.
The key piece of evidence for the Crown was a brown jacket worn by Dennis Oland that had a number of small blood stains and also DNA that matched the profile of Richard Oland.
However, none of the expert witnesses could say how long the blood had been on the jacket or how it got there.
The defence pointed to video that showed Dennis Oland and his wife shopping later on the evening of July 6, 2011 when people working below Richard Oland’s office say they believe they heard the sounds of the murder.
With files from Global’s Andrew Cromwell and Rebecca Joseph, and The Canadian Press’ Kevin Bissett.