New Brunswick professor shocked by guilty verdict in Oland murder trial

SAINT JOHN, N.B. -- Legal watchers in the Maritimes expressed surprise over Saturday's murder conviction against a member of one of New Brunswick's most prominent families, with one expert forecasting an appeal.

See Full Article

A professor of criminal justice history who has been following the trial of Dennis Oland said he was shocked a jury came back with a guilty verdict.

Greg Marquis of the University of New Brunswick, who is writing a book about the Oland trial, said the evidence presented at the trial was largely circumstantial.

Marquis pointed out that Judge John Walsh emphasized in his legal instructions to the jurors that they could not convict Oland second-degree murder in the death of his father Richard Oland unless they felt his guilt was proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

Marquis said if he had been on the jury he would have struggled with that concept in the light of evidence available, which included a brown sports jacket with some blood stains found on it.

"There was not a lot of direct evidence. There was no murder weapon or witnesses," he said in an interview on Sunday, a day after the jury handed down its verdict of guilty of second degree murder.

"There was hardly any blood evidence, except for on the brown sports jacket. That was a key piece of forensic evidence but even that is problematic because no one could say how the blood got onto the jacket or how long it had been there."

Oland's mother Connie has issued a statement maintaining her son's innocence and said they would be discussing options with the prominent New Brunswick family's legal team.

Robert Currie, a criminal law professor Dalhousie University in Halifax, predicted Oland will appeal the conviction.

However Currie said Oland's avenues for an appeal are limited because the jury's deliberations are kept confidential, so there is no written decision to dispute as there are when a case is tried by the judge alone.

Appeals in jury trials are usually limited to the judge's instructions to the jury or the admissibility of evidence, said Currie. He predicted Oland would appeal the decision to allow the brown sports jacket as evidence at the trial.

Oland was wearing the jacket when he visited his father on July 6, 2011 -- the day before he was found face down in a pool of blood in his Saint John office. The DNA of the blood stains matched the profile of Richard Oland.

However, none of the expert witnesses could say how long the blood had been on the jacket or how it got there.

The Oland family is one of the Maritimes' best known families and founded Moosehead Breweries.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Hockey Canada dropping 'midget,' other traditional minor age group names

    Canada News CBC News
    Hockey Canada is changing its traditional age group names, including "midget," a year after some other sports organizations stopped using the term. The governing body of hockey in Canada announced Monday that the age categories, that also included novice, peewee, atom and bantam, would be replaced by names descriptive of the ages of the players, from under-7 up to U21. Source
  • 'We go high': Raptors superfan reconciles with Bucks fan who wrote racist tweet

    Canada News CTV News
    The Toronto Raptors “superfan” has reconciled in person with the man who directed a racist tweet at him during the spring playoffs. Nav Bhatia, a car dealership owner who is well-known among Raptors fans as a consistent courtside presence at home games, told CTV’s Your Morning that he met with the man and his son for dinner and a game earlier this month in Milwaukee. Source
  • Criminal charges expected this week against Epstein guards

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- Two correctional officers responsible for guarding Jeffrey Epstein when he took his own life are expected to face criminal charges this week for falsifying prison records, two people familiar with the matter told The Associated Press. Source
  • 'Take down the dam': Rio Tinto Alcan sued over B.C. river damage

    Canada News CBC News
    Two B.C. First Nations suing one of the world's biggest mining companies over a northern river say they want Rio Tinto Alcan to dismantle a major dam built 67 years ago. "They can take down the Kenney Dam and restore everything to the way it was in 1952," Stellat'en Chief Archie Patrick told CBC on the steps of the Prince George courthouse. Source
  • Trump backing off ban on vaping flavours popular with teens

    World News CBC News
    When U.S. President Donald Trump boarded Air Force One to fly to a Kentucky campaign rally two weeks ago, a plan was in place for him to give final approval to a plan to ban most flavoured e-cigarettes. Source
  • Omar Khadr appeal in American military court faces additional delay: lawyer

    Canada News CBC News
    A U.S. military court is still refusing to hear Omar Khadr's challenge of his convictions in Guantanamo Bay. The United States Court of Military Commission Review, known as the CMCR, issued an order Monday denying a motion to lift a stay in proceedings in Khadr's appeal. Source
  • Canadian universities encourage exchange students in Hong Kong to head home

    Canada News CTV News
    Some Canadian universities are urging their exchange students in Hong Kong to consider returning home as the semi-autonomous Chinese territory is beset by escalating violence between government officials and pro-democracy protesters. Dozens of Canadians remained in Hong Kong on Monday, according to several institutions reached by The Canadian Press -- many of which said it would be in their students' best interest to flee the violence. Source
  • UCP denies political interference over plan to fire election commissioner

    Canada News CBC News
    Alberta elections commissioner Lorne Gibson, who has levied more than $200,000 in fines in his investigation of the 2017 UCP leadership race, would be fired if a bill introduced by the government Monday is passed and proclaimed into law. Source
  • Toronto Catholic school board vice chair likens LGBTQ issues to bestiality and pedophilia

    Canada News CBC News
    A Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB) trustee is under fire over comments he made at a marathon board meeting this month where he connected debate over LGBTQ issues with bestiality, pedophilia, cannibalism and more. TCDSB Vice-Chair Michael Del Grande made the comments toward the end of a six-hour meeting on Nov. Source
  • U.S. no longer considers Israeli West Bank settlements illegal

    World News CBC News
    Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Monday that the United States is softening its position on Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, the latest in a series of Trump administration moves that weaken Palestinian claims to statehood. Source