NEWS

Dennis Oland to face 2nd-degree murder charge in dad's death

11/13/2013 05:09 EST | Updated 01/23/2014 06:58 EST
Dennis Oland will be charged with second-degree murder this afternoon in connection with the death of his father, prominent businessman Richard Oland, more than two years ago.

Saint John police Chief Bill Reid informed the media of the charge against Oland at a news conference Wednesday morning.

Dennis Oland, 45, was arrested on Tuesday. He was initially scheduled to appear in court on Wednesday afternoon, but his appearance time was subsequently changed to 9:30 a.m.

However, the suspect's lawyer, Gary Miller, requested a delay of the court appearance until the afternoon session, and it was granted.

Richard Oland was found dead in his uptown office on July 7, 2011 at age 69.

Dennis Oland was the last known person to see his father alive at his Far End Corporation office on Canterbury Street on July 6.

When police asked Dennis Oland what happened that day, he said: "Until I went over to his office, it was a very typical day."

Previously released search warrants revealed two men heard noises coming from Richard Oland's office that night. Anthony Shaw and John Ainsworth were working downstairs.

Shaw told police he heard six or seven "exceptionally loud, quick pounding thumps." He described the noise as being similar to banging on a wall.

'I knew it wasn't right'

John Ainsworth described the noise to police as "shuffling." The sounds seemed to emanate from one area of Oland’s office, Ainsworth said.

No details about how Oland died have been made public. They are considered so-called hallmark evidence that only the killer or killers would know.

A woman reported seeing a man matching Dennis Oland’s description acting strangely at Renforth Wharf that night between 5:30 p.m. and 7 p.m., according to the documents.

The well-dressed man, who was walking briskly, stopped at the beginning of the wharf, and picked something up, went to the end of the wharf and sat down.

He then took something red out of a bag, wrapped the object he had picked up, put it in the bag, then walked briskly back and drove away in a silver car, Barbara Murray told police.

"I knew it wasn’t right," Murray said. The way he was walking made her nervous, she said. "There was a purpose to what he was doing, a real purpose."

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