Dennis Oland's lawyer pleads for judge to consider client's children

SAINT JOHN, N.B. -- Dennis Oland's lawyer pleaded Thursday that a judge consider his client's children in setting a sentence for Oland's second-degree murder of his own father.

See Full Article

Defence lawyer Gary Miller provided Justice John Walsh with character references from Oland's family saying he was needed and loved and is a good caregiver.

"I beg your lordship, give him the kind of sentence that allows him to get home to his family as soon as possible," said Miller during the hearing in the Saint John courtroom.

Oland declined an offer from the judge to offer his own comments.

Crown lawyer Patrick Wilbur says the brutal nature of Richard Oland's death called for a sentence more than the minimum 10 years required under the law. He called for between 12 and 15 years in jail before parole eligibility.

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.

Miller said the Oland case doesn't require more than the minimum of 10 years.

Sheriffs had to turn most supporters away from attending after a lineup formed in front of the courthouse before the sentencing.

However, members of the Oland family were seated in the front row of the hearing and close 100 people were crammed into the rows behind.

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

Walsh was given 73 character reference letters, 10 of which the Crown objected to, during the morning hearing.

The judge told the defence lawyers it was offensive that some of the character references used their letters as Trojan horses to give their personal opinions on the case.

"It's upsetting to me as a judge that people would do that," Walsh said, adding the only opinions that count were those of the jury.

"I am not pleased."

After a break, defence lawyers withdrew seven of the letters, and redacted three more to remove opinions about the verdict. Walsh also placed a provisional publication ban on four letters from Oland's children.

"I'm concerned about their privacy," he said.

Oland was dressed in 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 Friday in Fredericton as Oland's lawyers seek his release pending the hearing of the appeal.

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 the judge.

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



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Firefighters battle intense wildfires in Utah, California

    World News CBC News
    Better weather conditions have limited the growth of a wildfire in Utah that has prompted the evacuation of 1,500 people from hundreds of homes and cabins, officials said Sunday night. In Southern California, a wildfire broke out after a car crashed on a freeway and prompted evacuations of nearby homes in the city of Santa Clarita. Source
  • LCBO, workers quiet as midnight strike deadline passes

    Canada News CBC News
    A strike deadline came and went early Monday morning, with no news from either the LCBO or the union representing its employees. Workers have said a strike is possible just before Canada Day. Workers have previously said a strike is possible before Canada Day. Source
  • Intense wildfires in Utah, California force evacuations

    World News CTV News
    SALT LAKE CITY - Better weather conditions have limited the growth of a wildfire in Utah that has prompted the evacuation of 1,500 people from hundreds of homes and cabins, officials said Sunday night. In Southern California, a wildfire broke out after a car crashed on a freeway and prompted evacuations of nearby homes in the city of Santa Clarita. Source
  • No arrests as anti-Islam demonstrators clash with counter-protesters at Calgary city hall

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    Despite some heated moments, no arrests were made at an anti-Islam rally at Calgary City Hall Sunday afternoon. The anti-Islam protest was originally scheduled for Saturday but the group organizing it, the World Coalition Against Islam (WCAI), had their permit pulled by the city. Source
  • Fugitive lawyer says he's fled the U.S. using fake passport

    World News CTV News
    LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- A fugitive Kentucky lawyer at the centre of a nearly $600 million Social Security fraud case has fled the country using a fake passport and has gotten help from someone overseas with a job to help support himself. Source
  • Pride flag found burned in Taber, Alta.

    Canada News CBC News
    For the second time in as many weeks, a Pride flag flying in Taber, Alta., has been destroyed by vandals. Sometime on Saturday night or early Sunday morning, someone burned the flag being flown in Confederation Park, near the town hall. Source
  • 'Your actual place in society': Minority Montrealers stung by racial divide at Fête nationale parade

    Canada News CBC News
    When Félix Brouillet saw the first float in Saturday's Fête nationale parade in Montreal, he thought he was looking at a scene out of a 1960s movie about ancient Rome. A white woman in a flowing blue dress stood on the float, which was pushed down St. Source
  • Pride group in Taber, Alta. says their flag was burned

    Canada News CTV News
    TABER, Alta. -- Organizers of a southern Alberta town's first Pride event say they'll raise a third rainbow flag after the first was stolen and the one they replaced it with was burned. Jillian Demontigny of the Taber Equality Alliance says her group was notified Sunday that a police officer noticed damage to the flag and scorch marks up the flagpole while driving past Confederation Park. Source
  • Turkish police fire tear gas on banned LGBT Pride March [Photos]

    World News Toronto Sun
    ISTANBUL — As Pride Parade activities across North America have been met by protesters arguing about inclusiveness, other places around the world struggle for the right to even hold marches. Turkish police stopped activists for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex rights from gathering in large numbers for an LGBT pride event in Istanbul on Sunday, but smaller groups made impromptu press statements defying a ban imposed by the governor. Source
  • 'I couldn't let that little girl die'; Teen dangling from Six Flags' 'Sky Ride' falls into arms of crowd [Video]

    World News Toronto Sun
    QUEENSBURY, N.Y. — A teenager fell about 25 feet (about 8 metres) from a stopped gondola ride at an upstate New York amusement park Saturday night, tumbling into a crowd of park guests and employees gathered below to catch her before she hit the ground. Source