Dennis Oland sentenced to life for murder of his millionaire father

Dennis Oland has been sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 10 years for the second-degree murder of his father.

SAINT JOHN, N.B. — Dennis Oland has been sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 10 years for the second-degree murder of his father.

Oland’s lawyer pleaded Thursday that the judge consider his client’s children in setting the sentence.

Defence lawyer Gary Miller provided Justice John Walsh with character references from Oland’s family saying he was needed and loved and is a good caregiver. He said the case doesn’t require more than the minimum of 10 years before parole eligibility.

“I beg your lordship, give him the kind of sentence that allows him to get home to his family as soon as possible,” said Miller during the hearing in the Saint John courtroom.

Oland declined an offer from the judge to offer his own comments earlier in the day.

Before handing down the sentence, Walsh said a pre-sentence report described Oland as a well-educated, 47-year-old man with no previous criminal record. He also said Oland told a parole officer that he can’t feel remorse because he is innocent.

“This was a family tragedy of Shakespearean proportions,” Walsh said.

A jury found Oland guilty of Richard Oland’s murder in December following a trial that lasted four months and captured widespread public attention.

A conviction on second-degree murder carries a life sentence with a range of parole eligibility set between 10 and 25 years. All 12 jurors recommended that Oland have no chance of parole for 10 years.

But Crown lawyer Patrick Wilbur said the brutal nature of the elder Oland’s death called for a sentence more than the minimum 10 years required under the law. He called for between 12 and 15 years in jail before parole eligibility.

Richard Oland’s body was found face down in a pool of blood in his Saint John office on July 7, 2011. He had suffered 45 blunt and sharp force blows to his head, neck and hands, although no weapon was ever found.

Sheriffs had to turn most supporters away from attending Thursday’s hearing after a lineup formed in front of the courthouse before the sentencing.

However, members of the Oland family were seated in the front row of the hearing and close 100 people were crammed into the rows behind.

Walsh was given 73 character reference letters, 10 of which the Crown objected to, during the morning hearing.

The judge told the defence lawyers it was offensive that some of the character references used their letters as Trojan horses to give their personal opinions on the case.

“It’s upsetting to me as a judge that people would do that,” Walsh said, adding the only opinions that count were those of the jury.

“I am not pleased.”

After a break, defence lawyers withdrew seven of the letters, and redacted three more to remove opinions about the verdict. Walsh also placed a provisional publication ban on four letters from Oland’s children.

“I’m concerned about their privacy,” he said.

Oland was dressed in the same brown suit and blue shirt he wore through much of the trial, and he smiled at family and supporters as he entered the courtroom.

After his conviction, Oland’s mother Connie said in statement the family was shocked by the outcome.

An appeal of the conviction has since been filed but no date has been set. A bail hearing will be held Friday in Fredericton as Oland’s lawyers seek his release pending the hearing of the appeal.

The Olands are an establishment family in the history of the Maritimes, having founded Moosehead Breweries although Richard Oland left the family business in 1981.

During the trial, the Crown focused on possible issues of motive including Dennis Oland’s financial difficulties and the knowledge his father was having an affair.

The key piece of evidence for the Crown was a brown jacket worn by Dennis Oland that had a number of small blood stains and also DNA that matched the profile of Richard Oland.

Oland has repeatedly denied any involvement in his father’s death.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Members of the Red Deer RCMP downtown patrol monitor for drug activity and property crimes. (Advocate file photo).
Two peace officers are training to join Red Deer’s downtown police patrol unit

This “integrated” unit will be the first in Alberta

Students and staff at Gateway Christian School wore pink Wednesday in support of Pink Shirt Day, a worldwide anti-bullying initiative that was started in 2007. (Photo courtesy of Red Deer Public Schools)
Students celebrate Pink Shirt Day

All across the province, Albertans wore pink Wednesday to celebrate Pink Shirt… Continue reading

File photo
Another new high: Red Deer hits 574 active COVID-19 cases

Province reports 13 new COVID-19 deaths, 430 new cases

A homeless shelter was promised Red Deer to help the city deal with downtown issues. The city and province finally released a signed agreement on what the facility will offer, a year after a $7 million commitment was made for the project by the province. (Advocate file photo).
City and province take next step in bringing a 24/7 shelter to Red Deer

It will include a detox and counselling services

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. A new survey says eroding trust in scientists, CEOs and journalists could hamper the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine in Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
9 Red Deer pharmacies set to offer COVID-19 vaccine to seniors next week

Seniors in Red Deer and Central Alberta will have more access to… Continue reading

Meteor spotted over Edmonton, Alta., on Feb. 22, 2021 by several, who took to social media to share their surveillance camera captures. (@KixxAxe/Twitter)
VIDEO: Fireball meteor streaks across sky, spotted by early-morning risers in Alberta, B.C.

Videos of the quick streak of light flashing across the sky before 6:30 a.m. MST

Email editor@interior-news.com
Letter: Read up on tax report

The Advocate article published Feb. 20 about the Canadian Taxpayers Federation slamming… Continue reading

Opinion
Opinion: When Kenney promises no tax hike, does he mean it?

Premier Jason Kenney is trying to assure Albertans that there won’t be… Continue reading

kkk
Budget opinion: Cutting advanced education funding will stunt region growth

The Alberta budget expected to be tabled this week follows a year… Continue reading

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney makes his way to the chamber in Edmonton on Friday, March 20, 2020. Kenney says a recent bump in energy prices in the third quarter of the budget is helping the bottom line as his government prepares to introduce its 2021-22 budget. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Higher oil prices boosting Alberta’s bottom line as budget looms Thursday: Kenney

EDMONTON — Premier Jason Kenney says a recent bump in energy prices… Continue reading

Montreal Canadiens head coach Claude Julien gives instructions during practice in Brossard, Que., Tuesday, July 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
CP NewsAlert: Montreal Canadiens fire head coach Claude Julien

Assistant coach appointed interim head coach

(Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)
NFB hiring new execs to lead anti-racist practices, forge ties with Indigenous groups

TORONTO — The National Film Board of Canada is creating two key… Continue reading

The cast of “Schitt’s Creek” pose for a photo after winning the Award for Best Comedy Series at the Canadian Screen Awards in Toronto on March 31, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
‘Schitt’s Creek’ earns third consecutive ensemble win at ACTRA Toronto Awards

Tamara Podemski won outstanding performance by a female on ‘Coroner’

Most Read