Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Defence Lawyers Wrap Up Case in Oland Trial, Closing Arguments Set for Dec. 14

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Defence Lawyers Wrap Up Case in Oland Trial, Closing Arguments Set for Dec. 14

Article excerpt

Defence closes case in Oland murder trial


SAINT JOHN, N.B. - Defence lawyers for Dennis Oland abruptly closed their case Thursday, ending the evidence portion of his second-degree murder trial in the killing of his father.

Gary Miller opened his case last week by telling the jury in the Court of Queen's Bench that he planned to call Oland's wife, sister, mother, uncle and one of his family friends.

But after two days of sometimes emotional testimony from Oland about the death of his prominent father, Miller told jurors Thursday morning: "We see no need to call any other evidence and we close our case."

Oland has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder in the death of his father, leading businessman Richard Oland. The 69-year-old was found face down in a pool of blood in his Canterbury Street office in Saint John on July 7, 2011. Court was told he was killed the previous evening.

The jury has heard he suffered 45 blunt and sharp-force wounds to his head, neck and hands, though no murder weapon was ever found.

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

The trial has adjourned until Dec. 14, when the Crown and defence will present closing arguments.

Justice John Walsh told the jury that his instructions will be lengthy, taking more than a full day, and the week they return will be "mentally exhausting and emotionally draining."

"You will have to concentrate on what the lawyers tell you, and what I tell you, then deliberate," Walsh said.

The trial is in its 12th week.

The defence called three witnesses: blood spatter expert Patrick Laturnus, forensic computer analyst Geoffrey Fellows, and Oland himself. The Crown called more than 40 witnesses.

Pathologist Dr. Ather Naseemuddin, who performed the autopsy on Richard Oland, described the injuries to his body in detail, including 14 skull fractures. …

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