In closing, Dennis Oland's lawyer tells jury evidence points to acquittal

SAINT JOHN, N.B. -- One of Dennis Oland's defence lawyers told jurors Monday they are no closer to knowing who killed his father than they were when his client's murder trial began.

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In his closing argument, Alan Gold said the jury should reach a not guilty verdict based on Oland's testimony and the circumstantial evidence presented by the Crown.

Dennis Oland is charged with second-degree murder in the death of his father, well-known businessman Richard Oland.

The 69-year-old was found face down in a pool of blood in his Canterbury Street office in Saint John, N.B., on July 7, 2011. The jury has heard he suffered 45 blunt and sharp-force wounds to his head, neck and hands, though no weapon was ever found.

Gold said Dennis Oland knew that secretary Maureen Adamson was still at the office when he arrived to visit his father on the evening of July 6, 2011. The person who killed Richard Oland, he said, would certainly have waited until after any witnesses left.

Gold also reminded the Court of Queen's Bench that employees of Printing Plus, one floor below Richard Oland's office, heard a crash and rapid thumping on the floor above between 7:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. on July 6, 2011.

"Those noises had to be the brutal murder of Richard Oland," said Gold.

He said the jury was shown security video of Dennis Oland and his wife Lisa shopping in Rothesay at that time.

Unless the jury completely discounts the testimony of the two employees of Printing Plus, Gold said it must return a verdict of not guilty.

Gold said the Crown would likely use its closing arguments to point out inconsistencies in Oland's evidence, but he said his client was forthright in his testimony. He said if Oland wanted to lie, he wouldn't have told the jury he went back to his father's office a third time on July 6 despite telling police he went back only twice.

Oland also told police he wore a navy jacket that day, although he could be seen in security video shown during the trial wearing a brown jacket. Gold dismissed the conflicting account as an "honest mistake."

Court has heard that the brown sport coat had three blood stains on it that were barely visible to the naked eye and DNA samples taken from the jacket found at Dennis Oland's home matched the profile of his father.

Oland had the jacket dry cleaned the day after police said he was a suspect in his father's death, but Gold called that a "giant red herring." The dry cleaners testified that they examined the jacket but found no stains and didn't use any stain remover, he added.

Gold said the three blood stains were minuscule. "These were virtually invisible, tiny dot stains," he said.

Various security camera videos show no evidence of someone who had just committed a brutal murder, Gold said.

"You see an innocent looking person," he said.


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