Hundreds line up for Dennis Oland sentencing

SAINT JOHN, N.B. -- About 200 supporters lined up in the snow outside the Saint John, N.B., courthouse today as Dennis Oland faces sentencing for the second-degree murder of his father.

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Sheriffs had to turn most supporters away from the small courtroom, but members of the Oland family are seated in the front row, as they were throughout the trial.

A jury found Oland guilty of Richard Oland's murder in December following a trial that lasted four months and captured widespread public attention.

Oland is wearing the same brown suit and blue shirt he wore through much of the trial, and he smiled at family and supporters as he entered the courtroom.

After his conviction, Oland's mother Connie said in statement the family was shocked by the outcome.

An appeal of the conviction has since been filed but no date has been set.

A bail hearing will be held tomorrow in Fredericton as Oland's lawyers seek his release pending the hearing of the appeal.

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 an establishment family in the history of the Maritimes, having founded Moosehead Breweries although 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.

The key piece of evidence for the Crown was a brown jacket worn by Dennis Oland that had a number of small blood stains and also DNA that matched the profile of Richard Oland.

Oland has repeatedly denied any involvement in his father's death.

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

Follow along here, as CTV Atlantic reporters Mike Cameron and Ashley Blackford tweet from the proceedings:



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