Investigator tells Oland murder trial rear exit from office building was locked

The lead investigator in Richard Oland's murder has testified that a rear exit from the businessman's office building was locked from the inside the morning Oland was found dead in his New Brunswick office.

SAINT JOHN, N.B. — The lead investigator in Richard Oland’s murder has testified that a rear exit from the businessman’s office building was locked from the inside the morning Oland was found dead in his New Brunswick office.

Const. Stephen Davidson of the Saint John Police Force told a jury in the Court of Queen’s Bench on Thursday that he had to unlock the door in the foyer outside Far End Corp. on the morning of July 7, 2011.

He also testified he re-locked it after a quick look outside.

The rear exit was the focus of cross-examinations last week by the defence team for Dennis Oland, 47, who has pleaded not guilty to a charge of second-degree murder in his father’s death.

Police officers who guarded the murder scene through the afternoon and evening of July 7, 2011, had testified that the door had been open for the entire time they’d been there.

However, officers who had responded in the morning testified the door had been closed and they hadn’t seen anyone examine it.

The defence raised the possibility that the door was a possible escape route for Richard Oland’s killer or killers.

Davidson, who joined the major crimes unit on July 4, 2011, testified about opening the door’s deadbolt on both July 7 and again on July 9, 2011.

He said on July 7, he was in Oland’s second-floor office just long enough to see the body in a pool of blood.

“His feet were under a desk and there was significant head trauma,” he said.

Davidson became the lead investigator on the case in October after the original lead investigator retired.

The Crown will recall him at a later time to go over an interview Davidson conducted with Dennis Oland on July 7, 2011.

The Crown has told the jury that Richard Oland was killed in a violent outburst that resulted in 40 blows to his head and neck.