Jurors retire to begin deliberating verdict at Oland murder trial

SAINT JOHN, N.B. -- Jurors for the murder trial of Dennis Oland in New Brunswick have retired to begin deliberating a verdict.

See Full Article

Oland has pleaded not guilty to a charge of second-degree murder related to the death of his father, well-known businessman Richard Oland, who was found dead in his Saint John office on July 7, 2011.

Dennis Oland looked grave and serious as the four women and eight men of the jury left the courtroom at the Court of Queen's Bench.

"Thank you. We will await the jury's decision," said Justice John Walsh.

Walsh spent most of the last two days delivering his final instructions to the jury, reviewing testimony from nearly 50 trial witnesses and repeatedly warning jurors that they must be convinced of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt in order to convict.

"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.

Walsh said the jury can return only a guilty or not guilty verdict on the charge of second-degree murder. He said the verdict must be unanimous and told jurors to "make every reasonable effort" to reach a verdict.

"Keep an open mind but not an empty head. Listen to what your fellow jurors have to say. Jurors are judges," Walsh said.

Walsh says it's up to the jury how late to deliberate into the evening.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Quebec man, 63, dies after police chase ends in multi-vehicle crash

    Canada News CTV News
    TROIS-RIVIERES, Que. - Quebec's police watchdog is investigating after a 63-year-old man died following a police chase that ended in a multi-vehicle crash. The investigations unit says its information suggests the victim was in a vehicle that was hit by a fleeing driver who was being pursued by a Trois-Rivieres police officer. Source
  • 8 dead after Missouri tourist boat accident, sheriff says

    World News CBC News
    A sheriff in Missouri says a tourist boat has apparently capsized on a lake, leaving eight people dead and several others hospitalized. The Springfield News-Leader reports that Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader says the accident occurred Thursday night after a Ride the Ducks tourist boat reportedly sank on Table Rock Lake with more than 30 people on board. Source
  • Tornadoes sweep through Iowa; major damage and some injuries

    World News CTV News
    DES MOINES, Iowa -- A flurry of tornadoes that formed unexpectedly swept through central Iowa Thursday, injuring at least 17 people, flattening buildings in three cities and forcing the evacuation of a hospital. The tornadoes hit Marshalltown, Pella and Bondurant as surprised residents ran for cover. Source
  • No decision on B.C. school stabbing suspect's mental fitness for trial

    Canada News CTV News
    COQUITLAM, B.C. -- A review board failed to reach a decision Thursday on whether a man accused of stabbing a 13-year-old girl to death inside her Abbotsford, B.C., high school is mentally fit to stand trial. Source
  • More than 300 older children split at U.S.-Mexico border reunited with families

    World News CTV News
    SAN DIEGO -- The Trump administration said Thursday that it has reunified 364 children ages 5 and older with their families after they were separated at the border, still leaving hundreds to go before a court-imposed deadline a week away. Source
  • World's translators push back on forcing Trump interpreter to testify

    World News CTV News
    OTTAWA -- Canadian translators and their international counterparts say their work should be treated as strictly confidential and they shouldn't be compelled to testify about the private conversations they hear. The declaration comes as U.S. Source
  • Nicaragua's president celebrates crackdown on opposition

    World News CTV News
    MANAGUA, Nicaragua -- President Daniel Ortega used Thursday's 39th anniversary of the 1979 revolution against dictator Anastasio Somoza to celebrate strengthening his grip on power after three months of anti-government protests and to attack Nicaragua's Roman Catholic Church as allies of "coup mongers. Source
  • Global slavery report slams North Korea, repressive regimes

    World News CTV News
    LONDON -- Modern slavery is most prevalent in North Korea and other repressive regimes, but developed nations also bear responsibility for it because they import $350 billion worth of goods that are produced under suspicious circumstances, according to research released Thursday. Source
  • Former radio shock-jock sympathizes with downfall of Dave Wheeler

    Canada News CBC News
    Former shock-jock radio star Dean Blundell says he can sympathize with the unceremonious downfall of Winnipeg radio host Dave Wheeler, who was fired this week after making offensive comments about transgender people. Several years after his own ignoble descent from Toronto's popular 102.1 The Edge, Blundell says he understands times have changed and that on-air jokes about race, gender and sexual orientation are just not acceptable: "It's another wake-up call for everybody else. Source
  • Driver, 60, charged for 'intentionally' hitting 85-year-old pedestrian known to her

    Canada News CBC News
    A 60-year-old woman has been charged with aggravated assault after an 85-year-old woman was struck by a vehicle Wednesday at a west Edmonton KFC restaurant. The driver and the victim "are known to one another," police said in a news release Thursday. Source