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

  • Boat capsize in Bangladesh kills at least 24 Hindu pilgrims

    World News CTV News
    DHAKA, Bangladesh - A boat carrying about 100 Hindu pilgrims capsized Sunday in a river in northern Bangladesh, leaving at least 24 people dead, police said. The overcrowded boat overturned in the afternoon while returning from a Hindu temple on the other side of the River Karatoa at Boda area in Panchagarh district, said local police chief S.M. Source
  • Wild horses on Sable Island appear safe after island struck by Fiona

    Canada News CTV News
    The herd of wild horses inhabiting an isolated island that was directly in the path of post-tropical storm Fiona appear to have come through the extreme weather safely. Sable Island, a small island around 300km southeast of Halifax, Nova Scotia, is a National Park Reserve, staffed by a handful of Parks Canada employees year round. Source
  • Around 100 Canadian troops deployed to each of N.S., P.E.I., N.L. for post-Fiona recovery: feds

    Canada News CTV News
    In an update Sunday regarding the devastation of post-tropical storm Fiona in the Atlantic provinces, federal officials confirmed that the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) are already on the ground in several provinces to assist and are on their way to others. Source
  • Italian far-right leader's alliance leading vote: exit poll

    World News CTV News
    ROME - Far-right leader Giorgia Meloni’s electoral alliance appeared to hold a wide lead in Italy’s national vote, an exit poll on state television suggested Sunday evening following a record-low turnout. Rai state broadcaster said Meloni’s Brothers of Italy in alliance with two right-wing parties appeared headed to take 45 per cent of the vote in both chambers of Parliament. Source
  • Giorgia Meloni's far-right alliance leads in Italian elections

    World News CTV News
    ROME - Riding a meteoric rise, Giorgia Meloni with her nationalist party appeared well positioned to give Italy its first far-right-led government since the Second World War, according to projections based on a partial vote count Monday from elections for Parliament. Source
  • Italy voters shift sharply, reward Meloni's far-right party

    World News CTV News
    ROME - Italian voters shifted sharply, rewarding a party with neo-fascist roots and bolstering prospects the country could have its first far-right-led government since World War II, partial results Monday from the election for Parliament indicated. Source
  • Judge rejects injunction request of 5 Western University students to block COVID booster mandate

    Canada News CBC News
    A court injunction filed by five Western University students to block the London, Ont., institution's COVID-19 booster shot mandate has been rejected by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, according to court documents. In a written decision, Justice Kelly Tranquilli stated that as an independent, autonomous, and self-governing institution, Western can govern its affairs separate from the province, and collecting personal health data from staff and students is its way of implementing the…
  • Black Canadian talent to be celebrated at Sunday's inaugural Legacy Awards

    Canada News CBC News
    A new awards show highlighting the achievements of Black Canadian talent will launch on Sunday night. The inaugural Legacy Awards are the country's first all-Black awards ceremony. The 90-minute live show, which will celebrate accomplishments in film, television, music, sports and culture, is set to feature emerging and established Black Canadian talent. Source
  • Fiona's trajectory, power and precipitation — illustrated in graphics

    Canada News CBC News
    Hundreds of thousands of people in the Maritimes remained without power Sunday following post-tropical storm Fiona, which brought fierce gusts of wind, heavy rain and serious infrastructure damage across Atlantic Canada. After surging north from the Caribbean, Fiona came ashore before dawn Saturday as a post-tropical cyclone, battering Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland, New Brunswick and Quebec with hurricane-strength winds, heavy rains and huge waves. Source
  • Mexican army's role in students' disappearance

    World News CTV News
    MEXICO CITY - The Mexican army's role in the disappearance of 43 college students, its participation in covering up the facts and its alleged links to organized crime are now at the centre of a case that has shaken the nation. Source