Judge points to flaws in Oland probe as jury instructions enter second day

SAINT JOHN, N.B. -- The Saint John, N.B., judge hearing the murder trial of Dennis Oland has told the jury there were a series of flaws in the police investigation of the murder scene.

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Justice John Walsh is reviewing the testimony of the nearly 50 trial witnesses, and touched Wednesday on the investigation into the death of Oland's father, well-known New Brunswick businessman Richard Oland.

Walsh said the trial heard that police failed to prevent too many people from entering the crime scene, failed to protect against the use of the second-floor washroom before it could be forensically tested, failed to ensure the back door remained untouched before it could be examined, and did not ask a pathologist to determine if a drywall hammer was the probable murder weapon.

"A reasonable doubt is based on reason and common sense. It is a doubt that logically arises from evidence or lack of evidence," said the judge, of the Court of Queen's Bench.

The judge also noted there was no physical evidence at the crime scene to connect Dennis Oland or anyone else, and said there was no physical evidence in Dennis Oland's car, on his blackberry or on shoes seized from his home.

He said it's up to the jury to use common sense to assess what was found on the brown sports jacket Dennis Oland was wearing when he visited his father on July 6, 2011, the day before Richard Oland was found face down in a pool of blood in his office.

Oland has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder. On Tuesday, Walsh told the jury that Dennis Oland is presumed to be innocent unless the Crown proves his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

"It is not enough for you to believe Dennis Oland is probably or likely guilty," he said.

The case is expected to go to the jury later Wednesday.



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