Dennis Oland retrial hears from more witnesses who attended grisly murder scene
The violent murder scene of Saint John businessman Richard Oland was the focus of his son’s trial on Wednesday.
Dennis Oland, 50, is charged with the second-degree murder of his father in 2011.
Four people who attended the scene where the body of Richard Oland was found were called to the witness stand on Wednesday.
Paramedics Phil Comeau and Chris Wall were the first medical personnel to attend the grizzly scene at Richard Oland’s office. They responded minutes after the initial call came in shortly before 9 a.m. on July 7, 2011.
Comeau was the lead paramedic and described first encountering an overwhelming smell, what he described as the “smell of death,” as he approached Oland’s second-floor office.
Comeau told the court he checked for and found that rigor mortis had set in, which he said is incompatible with life.
Both Comeau and Wall said they were in the office area a very short time and were careful not to touch anything.
The defence continues to question the actions of the Saint John Police Force.
Under cross-examination by lawyer Jamie McConnell, both Comeau and Wall said police didn’t instruct them on how to proceed into the office, offer protective clothing or ask for their footwear upon leaving.
Funeral directors Charlene MacDonald and Adam Holly helped with the removal of Oland’s body from the office to the morgue and gave testimony on Wednesday.
The timing of follow-up police interviews was part of the defence’s questioning of each witness.
The court was told that interviews were conducted with the paramedics 16 months after the body was first discovered while it was three years for the funeral directors.
There was an agreement among all witnesses that the timespan made it difficult to remember specifics of the incident.
Paramedic Phil Comeau said during testimony that he “almost forgot about it.”
Retired Const. Mike Horgan of the canine unit carried out a number of evidence searches in various areas with his dog Leo but told the court nothing significant was found.
More police testimony is expected Thursday. Saint John Police Force forensics officer Sgt. Mark Smith is expected to testify.
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