Oland case:’Some matters we need to iron out’

SAINT JOHN, N.B. — 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.

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