SAINT JOHN, N.B. — Five things to know about the trial of Dennis Oland, who is charged with second-degree murder in the death of his father, Richard Oland:
1. The trial has heard that Richard Oland died in July 2011 after suffering 40 blows to the head and neck. Crown attorney P.J. Veniot told the jury in his opening statement that Oland suffered six defensive wounds to his hands during the fatal beating. No weapon has been found.
2. Crown attorney P.J. Veniot told the trial Dennis Oland owed his father a significant amount of money and was having financial difficulties. Jurors heard Richard Oland had loaned his son $500,000 to help him keep his home after a costly divorce, and that Dennis Oland was to make interest-only payments of $1,667 a month. The defence has suggested the sum of money was an advance on Dennis Oland's inheritance, not a loan.
3. Testifying in his own defence, Dennis Oland said he loved his father and had no reason to kill him. The jury heard a brown sport coat seized from the younger Oland's home tested positive for blood and DNA samples matched the profile of his father. A blood spatter expert testified the person who committed the murder would have had a significant amount of blood on their hands and clothes.
4. Mike King, a former officer with the Saint John Police Force, testified he was asked by senior officer Glen McCloskey not to reveal that McCloskey had entered the crime scene where the body of Richard Oland was found. McCloskey, who is now deputy chief of police, testified he did not suggest that anyone change their testimony. Saint John police Chief John Bates ordered a professional standards investigative file be opened on the allegation.
5. The judge presiding over the case pointed out flaws in the police investigation during his final instructions to the jury. Justice John Walsh of the Court of Queen's Bench said the trial heard that police failed to prevent too many people from entering the crime scene, failed to protect against the use of the second-floor washroom before it could be forensically tested, failed to ensure the back door remained untouched before it could be examined, and did not ask a pathologist to determine if a drywall hammer was the probable murder weapon.
The Canadian Press