Lawyers in Oland case want new date

There are ‘some mat­ters we need to iron out’

Cape Breton Post - - Cape Breton/Atlantic - BY KEVIN BIS­SETT

Crown pros­e­cu­tors and lawyers for Den­nis Oland say there are de­tails they need to fi­nal­ize be­fore ask­ing the New Brunswick courts to set a date for a new sec­ond-de­gree mur­der trial.

“There are some mat­ters we need to iron out,’’ pros­e­cu­tor P.J. Ve­niot told the Court of Queen’s Bench Tues­day morn­ing in Saint John.

He said lawyers for both sides would be in a bet­ter po­si­tion to ad­dress those mat­ters later in the month.

“Hope­fully we’ll be much bet­ter pre­pared for the next court ap­pear­ance,’’ Ve­niot said.

A judge agreed to the re­quest — bump­ing the sched­ul­ing hear­ing to Sept. 5.

Den­nis Oland — a fi­nan­cial plan­ner and scion of one of the Mar­itimes’ most prom­i­nent fam­i­lies, the founders of Moose­head Brew­eries — was not in court Tues­day, but was rep­re­sented by lawyer Bill Teed.

Oland is charged in the 2011 blud­geon­ing death of his mul­ti­mil­lion­aire fa­ther, Richard Oland, who 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. A mur­der weapon was never found.

Dur­ing Den­nis Oland’s trial, the court heard he had vis­ited his fa­ther’s of­fice the night be­fore and was the last known per­son to see him alive.

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.

Den­nis Oland 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.

Last month, the Supreme Court of Canada dis­missed an ap­pli­ca­tion by the Crown to re­store the con­vic­tion, and a cross-ap­peal seek­ing an ac­quit­tal.

Ve­niot said he is “hope­ful’’ the re­trial will be heard some­time in 2018.

Crown pros­e­cu­tors Derek Weaver and Jill Knee will also han­dle the re­trial along with Ve­niot.

Court doc­u­ments in­di­cate the re­trial is ex­pected to last up to 65 days — the same as the orig­i­nal trial.

Out­side court, Ve­niot wouldn’t com­ment on the trial length, say­ing that will be set on Sept. 5.

Judge Ter­rence Mor­ri­son of Fred­er­ic­ton is slated to hear the re­trial.

“Dur­ing Den­nis Oland’s trial, the court heard he had vis­ited his fa­ther’s of­fice the night be­fore and was the last known per­son to see him alive.”

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