The Dennis Oland case is back in a New Brunswick courtroom today, as lawyers attempt to settle unresolved issues ahead of a retrial in the 2011 bludgeoning death of his multi-millionaire father.
The province’s Court of Appeal overturned Oland’s second-degree murder conviction in October 2016 and ordered a new trial.
In September, Judge Terrence Morrison said there were too many unresolved issues for him to even set a date for a new trial, and he scheduled today’s pre-trial conference to discuss them.
Oland’s 69-year-old father, Richard, was found face down in a pool of blood in his Saint John office on July 7, 2011.
An autopsy showed he suffered 45 sharp and blunt force blows to his head, neck and hands. No murder weapon was ever found.
Oland is a member of one of the Maritimes’ most prominent families.
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The Oland family founded Moosehead Breweries, whose executive chairman Derek Oland has been a steadfast supporter of his nephew Dennis Oland through his legal battle.
Oland was convicted in 2015, but was released on bail last October when the New Brunswick Court of Appeal ordered a new trial, citing an error in the judge’s instructions to the jury.
The 49-year-old financial planner’s first trial lasted 65 days, and court documents indicate a retrial could last just as long.
During the first trial, the court heard Oland had visited his father’s office the night before the body was discovered and was the last known person to see him alive.
He had told police he was wearing a navy blazer when he visited his father that evening, but witnesses and video evidence showed him wearing a brown Hugo Boss jacket that was later found to have tiny traces of blood and DNA that matched his father’s profile.
The Crown portrayed Oland’s original statement about the jacket as an intentional lie, while the defence said it was an honest mistake. The appeal court said the trial judge did not properly instruct the jurors as to the probative value of that statement.
In July, the Supreme Court of Canada dismissed an application by the Crown to restore the conviction, and a cross-appeal seeking an acquittal.