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

  • Official: Troops withdraw from home of Uganda's Bobi Wine

    World News CTV News
    KAMPALA, UGANDA -- An attorney for Bobi Wine says Ugandan soldiers have withdrawn from the opposition presidential challenger's home the day after a judge ruled that his house arrest was unlawful. But attorney George Musisi told The Associated Press that security forces could still be seen in the village near the candidate's property outside the capital, Kampala. Source
  • Italy's Conte to resign, seek nod to form new coalition

    World News CTV News
    ROME -- Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte was meeting Tuesday with his cabinet before heading to the presidential palace to offer his resignation after a key coalition ally pulled his party's support over Conte's handling of the coronavirus pandemic. Source
  • Estonia's new government sworn in with first-ever female PM

    World News CTV News
    HELSINKI -- Estonia's new two-party coalition government has been sworn in with the first female prime minister in the Baltic country since it regained independence in 1991. The 15-member Cabinet of Prime Minister Kaja Kallas -- a 43-year-old lawyer and a former European Parliament lawmaker -- was approved Tuesday in the 101-seat Riigikogu legislature, after President Kersti Kaljulaid had first appointed it. Source
  • Quebec media must be allowed to show the ravages of COVID-19

    Canada News CBC News
    Editor's note: Nineteen media outlets in Quebec, including the CBC, have signed an open letter today calling on the Quebec government and public-health authorities to give journalists access to the province's health institutions. In March of 2020, the world started to grasp the magnitude of the developing public health crisis when disturbing images began to emerge from Italy. Source
  • Indian police fire tear gas in clash with farmers in Republic Day protests

    World News CBC News
    Indian farmers protesting against agricultural reforms breached barricades and clashed on Tuesday with police in the capital, who fired tear gas to restrain them, shortly after a convoy of tractors trundled through the city's outskirts. Growers, angered by laws they say help large, private buyers at the expense of producers, have camped outside New Delhi for almost two months, posing one of the biggest challenges to Prime Minister Narendra Modi since he came to power in 2014. Source
  • Family of mentally ill Ontario man who killed his mother day after seeing psychiatrist says doctors failed him

    Canada News CBC News
    Family members of an Ontario man diagnosed with schizophrenia say his doctors didn't do "their due diligence" when they failed to admit him to a hospital after he called a crisis line the day before stabbing his mother and setting her house on fire with her inside. Source
  • Plan to rebuild defence early-warning system means political, fiscal headaches for Trudeau government

    Canada News CBC News
    It's not the SHIELD you're probably thinking of — the one with the super-spies and flying battleships from Marvel comics and movies. In fact, the SHIELD at the centre of the upcoming evolution of NORAD — the six-decade-old North American defence pact — shares nothing with its fictional counterpart but the acronym. Source
  • Inside Canada's largest COVID-19 outbreak in a federal prison

    Canada News CBC News
    During the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, Alex Doyle was doing his best to follow public health orders and keep himself and his young family free of infection. But last November, Doyle ended up back in Manitoba's Stony Mountain Institution north of Winnipeg after violating parole conditions for a drug trafficking and break and enter conviction. Source
  • Portland mayor tells police he pepper-sprayed a man who harassed him over mask policies

    World News CTV News
    Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler told police Sunday night that he used pepper spray on a man who had been harassing him about COVID-19 mask policies outside of a restaurant."> "He had no face mask on and got within a foot or two of my face while he was videoing me," Wheeler said in a voluntary statement to the Portland Police Bureau. Source
  • Biden walking a high wire with Russia ahead of Putin call

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- U.S. President Joe Biden has been quickly thrown into a high-wire balancing act with Russia as he seeks to toughen his administration's stance against Vladimir Putin while preserving room for diplomacy in a post-Donald Trump era. Source