Work beginning on preparations for appeal in Oland conviction: lawyer

SAINT JOHN, N.B. -- Work has started on an appeal for Dennis Oland who was convicted on the weekend of second-degree murder in the death of his father, his lawyer said Monday.

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Alan Gold said in an email that preparations were underway, but he wouldn't offer details on the basis of the appeal or when it might be filed.

"Obviously, we are all disappointed at this unexpected outcome and preparation has started for an appeal," Gold said. "It would not be appropriate to say any more at this time."

The statement comes after a jury found Oland guilty Saturday of second-degree murder in the death of prominent New Brunswick businessman Richard Oland.

Dennis Oland sobbed uncontrollably as the jury read out the verdict in a Saint John courtroom. Family members cried and hugged each other, with many appearing to be stunned by the verdict which came after about 30 hours of deliberations.

A statement from Oland's mother, Connie, said the family was shocked by the outcome and they continue to believe in his innocence.

The trial, which began in September, heard from nearly 50 witnesses and revealed a case built on what Justice John Walsh called largely circumstantial evidence.

Richard Oland's body was found face down in a pool of blood in his Saint John office on July 7, 2011. He had suffered 45 blunt and sharp force blows to his head, neck and hands, although no weapon was ever found.

The Olands are a prominent family in the history of the Maritimes, having founded Moosehead Breweries. Richard Oland left the family business in 1981.

During the trial, the Crown focused on possible issues of motive including Dennis Oland's financial difficulties and the knowledge his father was having an affair.

But in his own testimony, Oland downplayed his finances as a recurring issue in the life of a financial adviser and said he never raised them with his father. He also said the two never discussed his father's affair.

The defence pointed to video that showed Dennis Oland and his wife shopping later on the evening of July 6, 2011, when people working below Richard Oland's office say they believe they heard the sounds of the murder.

A conviction on second-degree murder carries a life sentence with a range of parole eligibility set between 10 and 25 years.

All 12 jurors have recommended that Oland have no chance of parole for 10 years, however the final decision rests with Walsh.

Sentencing arguments are set for Feb. 11.


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