- Category: Canada News
- Published Saturday, December 19, 2015
- CTV News
SAINT JOHN, N.B. -- Prominent New Brunswick businessman Richard Oland was found dead in his Canterbury Street office in Saint John on July 7, 2011.
May 12, 2014: The preliminary inquiry for Dennis Oland begins. A publication ban is imposed on all evidence presented during the hearing.
Dec. 12, 2014: Dennis Oland is ordered to stand trial on a charge of second-degree murder in his father's death.
Aug. 13, 2015: Lead prosecutor John Henheffer steps aside just weeks before the high-profile trial is to begin, for health reasons. He is replaced on the prosecution team by P.J. Veniot.
Sept. 8, 2015: Dennis Oland pleads not guilty to second-degree murder. Jury selection begins at a hockey arena in Saint John.
Sept. 10, 2015: Fourteen jurors -- eight men and six women -- are chosen, as well as two alternate jurors.
Sept. 16, 2015: The trial, scheduled to last 65 days, begins at the Court of Queen's Bench. Crown attorney P.J. Veniot tells the jury Richard Oland died from no fewer than 40 blows to his head and neck.
Sept. 17, 2015: Richard Oland's secretary, Maureen Adamson, testifies the businessman was chatting about family history with Dennis Oland the last time she saw him alive on July 6, 2011. She said the elder Oland had a good relationship with his son. Adamson discovered Richard Oland's body the next day, telling the trial she noticed a strong odour when she arrived for work.
Sept. 24, 2015: Philias Comeau, a paramedic who responded to Richard Oland's office the day he was found dead, testifies police didn't take his statement until more than a year after the fact.
Oct. 1, 2015: Forensic identification officer Sgt. Mark Smith testifies a piece of paper towel that tested positive for blood was found in the garbage of a washroom outside Richard Oland's office. Smith, a member of the Saint John Police Force, adds that other police officers had been using that washroom for the previous two days.
Oct. 7, 2015: Sgt. Mark Smith testifies that some of Richard Oland's injuries were caused by a hammer-type instrument, while others were inflicted with a blade-like weapon that left wounds that were six- to seven-centimetres long.
Oct. 8, 2015: Sgt. Mark Smith testifies that no blood or DNA from Dennis Oland was found on Richard Oland or at the crime scene.
Oct. 13, 2015: Former Saint John police officer Mike King testifies he was asked by senior officer Glen McCloskey not to reveal that he had entered the crime scene where the body of Richard Oland was found.
Oct. 14, 2015: Glen McCloskey, who is now deputy chief of the Saint John Police Force, testifies he did not suggest that anyone change their testimony.
Oct. 15, 2015: An RCMP blood spatter expert from Halifax testifies he was called four days after the murder to examine the scene. Sgt. Brian Wentzell says blood had dried by then and was beginning to flake away from the floor.
Oct. 21, 2015: The jury is shown a video of a police interview with Dennis Oland on the day his father's body was found. Asked by lead investigator Const. Stephen Davidson whether he had any involvement in the death, Oland replied, "No."
Oct. 23, 2015: Const. Stephen Davidson says during cross-examination that he was aware that a former officer was allegedly asked to alter his testimony about the case, but he didn't do anything about it.
Nov. 3, 2015: Justice John Walsh gives the jury instructions on evidence that suggests there was an inadequate police investigation in the case. He says it is up to the jury to decide whether that evidence alone or in combination with other evidence creates doubt of guilt.
Nov. 10, 2015: Diana Sedlacek, who was having an extramarital affair with Richard Oland, testifies that she tried repeatedly to contact him by cellphone and text message the night before his body was found, but she never got a reply.
Nov. 24, 2015: An expert in DNA analysis testifies that a brown sports jacket seized from the home of Dennis Oland tested positive for blood, and DNA samples matched the profile of Richard Oland. Dennis Oland had told police he was wearing a navy blazer when he visited his father on July 6, 2011, but witnesses and security camera video shown at the trial show him wearing a brown jacket that day.
Nov. 25, 2015: After more than 40 witnesses, the Crown concludes its case with Tom Suzanski, an expert in DNA analysis who worked on the case at the RCMP lab in Ottawa.
Nov. 26, 2015: A blood spatter expert testifies the person who killed Richard Oland would have had a significant amount of blood on their hands and clothes.
Dec. 1, 2015: Dennis Oland testifies in his own defence. Asked by defence lawyer Gary Miller if he killed his father, Oland replies, "No. No, I did not."
Dec. 2, 2015: Dennis Oland testifies he made a mistake when he told police that he was wearing a navy blazer the last time he saw his father. He later chokes back tears and wipes his eyes while telling the courtroom he misses his father.
Dec. 3, 2015: The defence closes its case.
Dec. 14, 2015: Closing arguments are presented. Defence lawyer Alan Gold says the jury should reach a verdict of not guilty based on Oland's testimony and the circumstantial evidence presented by the Crown. Crown attorney P.J. Veniot says Dennis Oland was the last person to see his father alive and had opportunity to kill him.
Dec. 15, 2015: Justice John Walsh begins delivering his final instructions to the jury, repeatedly emphasizing the need for caution and common sense as jurors assess the evidence presented during 12 weeks of testimony.
Dec. 16, 2015: Walsh concludes his jury charge, and jurors retire to begin deliberations.