Den­nis Oland back in court

Oland is charged with blud­geon­ing death of his mul­ti­mil­lion­aire fa­ther

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - ATLANTIC -

Prose­cu­tors and lawyers for Den­nis Oland will be back in New Brunswick court Tuesday for a hear­ing to set a date for a new sec­ond-de­gree mur­der trial, but it’s ex­pected they’ll ask for a month-long de­lay.

“They want to have more time to pre­pare,” said Court of Queen’s Bench clerk Amanda Evans.

It’s now ex­pected the sched­ul­ing hear­ing will be bumped un­til Sept. 5.

Oland is charged in the 2011 blud­geon­ing death of his well­known mul­ti­mil­lion­aire fa­ther, Richard Oland, who was found face down in a pool of blood in his Saint John, N.B., 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, 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. Court doc­u­ments in­di­cate the re­trial is ex­pected to last up to 65 days — the same length as the orig­i­nal trial.

Nicole O’Byrne, a law pro­fes­sor at the Univer­sity of New Brunswick, said that’s not un­ex­pected.

“We’ll have the same amount of ev­i­dence to be pre­sented, if not more,” she said.

O’Byrne said it all de­pends on what ev­i­dence will be deemed ad­mis­si­ble at the trial.

“If there are key pieces of ev­i­dence that aren’t ad­mit­ted that the jury won’t be able to con­sider or the judge won’t be able to con­sider, that would sig­nif­i­cantly de­crease the length of time be­cause there would be less ev­i­dence to be ex­am­ined at the trial,” she said.

Den­nis Oland heads from a bail hear­ing after be­ing re­leased from cus­tody in Fred­er­ic­ton on Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2016. Prose­cu­tors and lawyers for Oland will be back in New Brunswick court Tuesday for a hear­ing to set a date for a new sec­ond-de­gree mur­der trial, but it’s ex­pected they’ll ask for a month­long de­lay.

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