Oland trial judge emphasizes need to prove guilt beyond reasonable doubt

SAINT JOHN, N.B. -- The judge hearing the murder trial of Dennis Oland repeatedly told jurors Wednesday that they cannot convict the accused unless guilt has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

See Full Article

Justice John Walsh of the Court of Queen's Bench in Saint John, N.B., is reviewing the testimony of nearly 50 witnesses and has pointed out that Oland has repeatedly denied any involvement in the July 2011 bludgeoning death of his father, well-known businessman Richard Oland.

Dennis Oland has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder.

"If you believe Dennis Oland's statement and testimony that he did not commit this offence, you must find him not guilty," said Walsh.

Walsh said even if the jurors don't believe Dennis Oland's testimony but are left with reasonable doubt, they must find him not guilty.

He said they may only convict if the rest of the evidence as a whole proves Dennis Oland's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

"A reasonable doubt is based on reason and common sense," he said. "It is a doubt that logically arises from evidence or lack of evidence."

Walsh reviewed Dennis Oland's statement to police on July 7, 2011, as well as his testimony during the trial, then told the jury to assess the credibility of his evidence the same way as any other witness.

"I am only trying to assist you, not tell you what to decide," Walsh said.

Richard Oland was found face-down in a pool of blood in his Saint John office on July 7, 2011. Dennis Oland had visited him at the office the evening before.

Earlier Wednesday, Walsh pointed out flaws in the police investigation.

He 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.

The judge also noted there was no physical evidence at the crime scene to connect with Dennis Oland or anyone else. As well, there was no physical evidence linked to the crime 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.

In his instruction Wednesday, the judge pointed out that Richard Oland was known to be a "close talker" and very touchy in social situations. During the trial, Dennis Oland testified that his father chewed his cuticles and often had scabs on his head, adding there were times when his father could have had contact with the jacket.

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



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Al-Qaeda-linked jihadists attack UN base in North Mali, killing 6

    World News CBC News
    An official with the United Nations mission in Mali says that jihadists linked to al-Qaeda have killed six peacekeepers and injured 19 others in an attack on a peacekeepers' camp in Aguelhoc, in northern Mali's Kidal region. Source
  • Her knees in pain, Lindsey Vonn considers immediate retirement

    World News CBC News
    Lindsey Vonn may have skied her last race. After failing to finish a World Cup super-G on Sunday as she battles pain in both of her knees, Vonn said immediate retirement "is a possibility but I'm emotional right now. Source
  • No winning ticket for $17-million Lotto 649 jackpot

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- No winning ticket was sold for the $17-million jackpot in Saturday night's Lotto 649 draw. However, the guaranteed $1-million prize was claimed by a ticket holder in British Columbia. The jackpot for the next Lotto 649 draw on Jan. Source
  • Why some Wet'suwet'en councils have signed pipeline agreements

    Canada News CTV News
    SMITHERS, B.C. -- It was a difficult decision to sign a benefit sharing agreement with Coastal GasLink that would allow for a natural gas pipeline through the Wet'suwet'en territory, but a necessary one, an elected band council member says. Source
  • Storm that carpeted U.S. Midwest with snow barrels to New England

    World News CBC News
    A major winter storm that blanketed most of the U.S. Midwest with snow earlier in the weekend barrelled toward New England Sunday, where it was expected to cause transportation havoc ranging from slick and clogged roads to hundreds of cancelled airline flights. Source
  • The Liberal government wants to pin more medals on bureaucrats

    Canada News CBC News
    The Liberal government wants to see more medals pinned on the chests of public servants, and so has established a kind of quota system to make sure they're nominated more frequently. Michael Wernick, clerk of the Privy Council and Canada's top public servant, has pressed all federal departments to submit the names of at least five of their employees each year to the Governor General's office for various awards. Source
  • One year after the Albert Schultz scandal, can Soulpepper get its groove back?

    Canada News CBC News
    One year after allegations of sexual misconduct against its founder and artistic director Albert Schultz cast a shadow on Toronto's critically hailed Soulpepper Theatre, the theatre has managed to survive, thanks to steady audience support and continuing on-stage excellence provided by the artists remaining in the company. Source
  • From immigration, to making Conservatives 'hip': Andrew Scheer hosts town hall in Toronto

    Canada News CBC News
    At a town hall event in Toronto Saturday night, Mark Walsh made it clear to Andrew Scheer that climate change is an important issue, and it's not enough for the Conservative Party to simply oppose a policy like the carbon tax. Source
  • Magnitude 6.7 quake hits Chile; no reports of damage

    World News CTV News
    SANTIAGO, Chile -- A 6.7-magnitude earthquake shook cities and towns on Chile's northern coast late Saturday, but there were no immediate reports of damages. The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake's epicenter was 15.6 kilometres (9.7 miles) south-southwest of Coquimbo, and it had a depth of 53 kilometres. Source
  • Tshisekedi declared Congo's president, but runner-up revolts

    World News CTV News
    KINSHASA, Congo -- Congo's election crisis deepened early Sunday when the constitutional Court confirmed the win of Felix Tshisekedi, rejecting claims of fraud, and runner-up Martin Fayulu promptly declared himself the country's "only legitimate president. Source