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

  • Watch: Jewelry shop owner fights off would-be thieves armed with sledgehammers

    World News CTV News
    With the name Heist, a Californian jewelry store may seem like an obvious target for a burglary, but the shop’s owner foiled a group of would-be thieves’ plan when he fought back. On Thursday afternoon, a man in a hooded sweatshirt storms into the Heist Jewelry store in Santa Monica and smashed one of the display cases with a sledgehammer. Source
  • Who Framed Roger Rabbit animator Richard Williams dead at 86

    World News CBC News
    Richard Williams, a Canadian-British animator whose work on the bouncing cartoon bunny in Who Framed Roger Rabbit helped blur the boundaries between the animated world and our own, has died. He was 86 years old. The Oscar-winning artist died from cancer at his home in Bristol, England, on Friday, his daughter Natasha Sutton Williams said Saturday. Source
  • Baby dugong that captured hearts dies in Thailand

    World News CBC News
    An eight-month-old dugong nurtured by marine experts after it was found lost near a beach in southern Thailand has died of what biologists believe was a combination of shock and ingesting plastic waste, officials said Saturday. Source
  • Iranian tanker to leave Gibraltar soon despite U.S. pressure

    World News CTV News
    GIBRALTAR -- The shipping agent for an Iranian supertanker caught in a diplomatic standoff says the vessel is ready to depart Gibraltar on Sunday or Monday, as the U.S. made a last-minute effort to seize it again. Source
  • Canadians killed in Afghanistan honoured at re-dedication ceremony of cenotaph

    Canada News CTV News
    OTTAWA - More than 150 Canadians killed during the war in Afghanistan are being remembered in a special ceremony in Ottawa this morning. The ceremony, which is being attended by hundreds of family members of those who died, involves the re-dedication of a cenotaph built during the war in honour of the fallen. Source
  • Debris cleared, emergency crews leave site of explosion in London, Ont.

    Canada News CTV News
    LONDON, Ont. - Emergency crews have left the scene of an explosion in London, Ont., this morning and more residents are allowed to return home. A statement from the city says debris has been cleared on the streets and sidewalks after Wednesday night's blast, which was caused by a vehicle slamming into a home and hitting a gas line. Source
  • Airstrikes in Syrian rebel stronghold kills family of 7

    World News CTV News
    BEIRUT -- Syrian government and Russian airstrikes pounded the southern edge of a rebel stronghold in the country's northwest on Saturday, killing at least seven members of one family, activists and a war monitor reported. Source
  • New York City subway scare suspect taken into police custody

    World News CTV News
    New York City police say they've apprehended a man suspected of placing two devices that looked like pressure cookers in a subway station. Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea tweeted Saturday morning that a man seen holding one of the rice cookers in surveillance video was taken into custody. Source
  • How soccer is helping young immigrants feel at home in Canada

    Canada News CTV News
    OTTAWA -- Omran Alahmad has played soccer every week since his arrival in Ottawa almost four years ago, much the way he did as a boy growing up in Syria. Alahmad, 18, travelled through Jordan to come to Canada in 2015 with his parents and five siblings, but he was determined that it wouldn't mean giving up on the sport he's played since he was just three years old. Source
  • Kim expresses 'great satisfaction' over North Korea weapons tests

    World News CTV News
    SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of -- North Korea said Saturday that leader Kim Jong Un supervised another test-firing of an unspecified new weapon, seen as an attempt to pressure Washington and Seoul over slow nuclear negotiations and their joint military exercises. Source