A key member of the investigation into the death of Richard Oland took the stand as the second-degree murder trial of Dennis Oland continued Wednesday.
Const. Keith Copeland, a member of the Saint John Police Force’s investigative team, told the court that he took part in a number of aspects of the investigation, including the taking and monitoring of statements by witnesses.
That included the interview of Dennis on the evening his father’s body was found, Copeland said.
Dennis is accused of killing his multi-millionaire father, whose body was discovered in his uptown office, bludgeoned to death with more than 40 blows to the head and neck area.
Copeland told the court that he helped co-ordinate two major searches of the exterior of Dennis’ home in Rothesay, N.B. He said the search covered a large area, including the grounds, barns and other outbuildings.
Police were looking for items such as Richard’s iPhone and a possible weapon. Copeland told the court nothing of any significance was found.
Under cross-examination, Copeland said four days had been allocated for the search but it was completed in one day.
An interview of current Saint John MLA and former city councillor Gerry Lowe was a major focus of the day.
WATCH: Officer tells of surprise at seeing Oland’s body
The court was told that Copeland interviewed Lowe on July 8, 2011. Copeland told the court that sometime after 7:30 p.m. on July 5 or 6, he saw a man exit 52 Canterbury St. — the location of Richard’s uptown office.
The trial saw video surveillance from a restaurant that showed Lowe entering the restaurant around 7:40 p.m. and leaving around 8:35 p.m. on July 6, 2011, the day that Richard was believed to have been killed.
The defence also produced a photograph from that same night showing one of the vantage points from inside the restaurant.
Copeland stressed that he was focused on a description from Lowe and not the date he was at the restaurant.
Defence lawyer Michael Lacy argued the potential importance of the interview, as it could conflict with the Crown’s theory that Dennis was the last person to see his father alive on the night in question.
The defence estimates that evidence may be completed by mid-March, with final submissions and the judge’s decision coming by late May or early June.
Testimony will continue on Thursday.
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