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.

Just Posted

Scares and chills await at haunted house in Red Deer

Zed Haunted House helps raise money for Boys and Girls Club of Red Deer District

PHOTO: Renewable Energy Fair at Red Deer College

The Renewable Energy Fair and Workshops event was held at Red Deer… Continue reading

PHOTOS: Red Deer College Queens host third annual Pink in the Rink game

Queens raised $12,035 for the Central Alberta Cancer Centre.

PHOTOS: The Mustard Seed CEO speaks at Seeds of Hope Gala in Red Deer

The first-ever Seeds of Hope Gala was held at the Red Deer… Continue reading

Person airlifted to hospital after collision near Innisfail

One person was airlifted to hospital after a serious collision west of… Continue reading

WATCH: Make-A-Wish grants Star Wars loving teen’s wish

The Make-A-Wish Foundation granted Anakin Suerink’s wish in Red Deer Saturday afternoon

Turkey to reveal details of probe into Khashoggi’s killing

ISTANBUL — In a sign of growing pressure on Saudi Arabia, Turkey… Continue reading

Utah truck driver is jailed without bond after crash kills 6

HEBER, Utah — A man suspected of driving under the influence remained… Continue reading

A ragged, growing army of migrants resumes march toward US

TAPACHULA, Mexico — A ragged army of Honduran migrants streamed through southern… Continue reading

Postal workers to begin strikes in 4 Canadian cities Monday if deal not reached

OTTAWA — The union representing 50,000 Canada Post employees says it will… Continue reading

Migrant caravan swells to 5,000, resumes advance toward US

CIUDAD HIDALGO, Mexico — Despite Mexican efforts to stop them at the… Continue reading

“I don’t feel real”: Mental stress mounting after Michael

PANAMA CITY, Fla. — Amy Cross has a hard time explaining the… Continue reading

Toronto residents set to vote Monday on the next four years of civic leaders

Toronto’s municipal election campaign, marked by unprecedented provincial interference, ends Monday when… Continue reading

Former PQ minister Lise Payette remembered as role model for female politicians

MONTREAL — Members from across Quebec’s political spectrum gathered at a downtown… Continue reading

Most Read