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

  • The pressure is on for Senate to pass a massive Asia-Pacific trade deal quickly

    Canada News CBC News
    The push is on for Parliament to quickly ratify the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) trade agreement so that Canada can reap the benefits that come from being an early adopter of the deal — and there's a race on now to beat other countries to the punch. Source
  • Crimean city turns to mourning 20 victims of school attack

    World News CTV News
    MOSCOW -- While Crimean authorities searched for clues that might help explain why a teenager gunned down 20 people at his vocational school before killing himself, the stunned city of Kerch prepared to say farewell to the victims. Source
  • Canada not sending anyone to Saudi business summit and never intended to: source

    Canada News CTV News
    OTTAWA -- The federal government has no intention of sending anyone to a major investment conference in Saudi Arabia next week at a time when Riyadh is the target of global outrage -- and one source insists Ottawa never had plans to dispatch a delegation. Source
  • Feds open clergy abuse probe in Pennsylvania

    World News CTV News
    PHILADELPHIA -- Federal prosecutors have opened an investigation of child sexual abuse by Roman Catholic priests in Pennsylvania, using subpoenas to demand secret files and testimony from high-ranking leaders in what victims' advocates say is the first such probe ever launched by the U.S. Source
  • With empty Speaker ballot, New Brunswick faces prospect of new government — or new election

    Canada News CBC News
    New Brunswick could be lurching toward a new minority government or a new election after all four political parties said that none of their members would be on the ballot to become Speaker of the legislature. Source
  • Black market sets sights on cannabis edibles, tablets, ointments

    Canada News CTV News
    OTTAWA -- The Liberal government is well aware the massive black market for marijuana is banking on the appeal of products like gummies, tablets, sprays and creams but it defends waiting for another year to greenlight these items for the legal market. Source
  • Pit bull puppy digs up loaded gun at apartment complex

    World News CTV News
    GREENVILLE, N.C. -- Police in a North Carolina city are treating a pit bull puppy as a hero after he dug up a loaded .38-calibre revolver at an apartment complex. Greenville police posted on its Facebook page the puppy that officers nicknamed Ryder was playing in the grass at the apartment complex when it found the gun wrapped in a t-shirt. Source
  • Provinces raked in revenue on day one of cannabis sales

    Canada News CTV News
    Even with only a handful of stores open in each province, some provincial governments raked in revenue from cannabis on the first day of legal recreational sales. Quebec’s Societe Quebecoise du Cannabis (SQC) reports that its dozen provincially-run retail locations had customers waiting up to four hours to buy its products. Source
  • U.S. opens investigation into child sexual abuse in Pennsylvania

    World News CBC News
    The U.S. Justice Department has opened an investigation of child sexual abuse inside the Roman Catholic Church in Pennsylvania, using subpoenas to demand confidential files and testimony from church leaders, according to two people familiar with the probe. Source
  • Cannabis retailers warn of lingering supply shortage

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- Demand for newly legal pot appears to be outstripping supply as retailers run low on some products or are cleaned out completely amid a shortfall that could last for months. Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries said Thursday that it is expecting product shortages in both brick-and-mortar and online stores could last "up to at least six months. Source