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Messages - BaySailor

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I find  the items to be compelling. Did Oland's lawyers miss the ball by not asking the pathologist if the evidence suggested that the attacker was right or left handed? Sounds like it to me. I can see why the prosecution didn't ask. Why was the lawyer's witness account (Cheryl Johnson) of a heated argument heard coming from Oland's office area, just before he was likely killed, not part of the testimony at the first trial? One of our unanswered questions--did the defense mess up on this also?

As far as Dennis having a financial motive to kill his father, I think it is evident that Richard would never allow Dennis to lose the family homestead, Sevenacres, due to financial problems. RO saved the estate after DO's divorce and I'm confident that he would do it again, and just take it off DO's share of his estate.

Unfortunately, I couldn't find the article in the link provided.
Yes, I agree, it seems odd from afar that Cheryl Johnson did not take the stand, but I can't believe that lawyers with the experience of Gold et al simply overlooked it- I suspect there is something more that either prevented her from testifying or led both sides OR the judge to determine her testimony wouldn't be relevant or appropriate. Otherwise that would be a terrible error of omission for the defense to have made.

I too also believe that Dick might well have decided to retain the 7 Acres property, but that does not alter the fact that Dennis couldn't pay his credit cards and was getting cash advances from his manager John Travis, and misled a bank about his income on a mortgage application. I see that, and his inheritance, as motive.   


A new trial may well deal with three things: an argument, a jacket and whether the murder weapon � thought to be a drywall hammer � was swung by a left hand or a right.

PART 1: Why the second-degree murder case against Oland fell apart

A Saint John lawyer, Cheryl Johnson, heard an animated argument in or near Richard Oland�s Canterbury Street office the evening of the murder, shortly before two men working in the print shop below the office heard thumping and banging sounds, perhaps of a struggle, overhead.

Secondly, Richard Oland�s killer was likely right-handed, the pathologist�s findings suggest.

And thirdly, witnesses testified at his trial that they saw Oland on the Renforth wharf wearing a brown jacket � a jacket that was later found to have bloodstains on it. However, forensic evidence showed the car Oland drove away from his father�s office had no bloodstains.

he Crown�s argument at his trial was that Oland was strapped financially and murdered his father, to whom he already owed hundreds of thousands of dollars, when the �daddy bank�, as the prosecutor appeared to enjoy calling it, refused to extend further funds to finance his son�s �extravagant lifestyle.�

However, investigators found no hard evidence of discord between father and son, defence lawyer Alan Gold reminded judges hearing the appeal.

The Oland family�s global brewing and distillery empire provides them with vast corporate and personal wealth. Richard Oland�s personal net worth at the time of his death was about $36 million.

Dennis and Lisa Oland�s finances were indeed under water in the summer of 2011, but the jury also heard testimony that they held two-thirds equity in their home, a 20-room house and expansive property in Rothesay called Sevenacres, that Dennis inherited from his grandfather.

In addition, Dennis was managing an investment portfolio valued by his employers at $20 million to $25 million. This made the former world markets trader with CIBC Wood Gundy a definite asset to the firm.

The court also heard that Dennis had little to gain by killing his father since his mother would get all of the money, which speaks to motive. Robert McFadden, Richard Oland�s accountant and business partner, testified that Oland�s widow, Connie, receives her husband�s fortune in trust and upon her death, the trust will be dissolved and assets shared among Richard�s three children, Dennis, Jacqueline Walsh and Lisa Bustin. McFadden said that after his mother�s death, Dennis�s portion would be reduced by $538,000 � the amount advanced by his father, with $269,000 going to each sister. The advance covered the expenses of Dennis�s divorce, allowing Dennis to keep his ancestral home.

During the trial that consumed the fall from September to Christmas 2015, the jurors were barraged with testimony from nearly 50 witnesses, and hundreds of exhibits were entered into evidence, but it was not pointed out to them directly that Oland is left-handed, his lawyers confirmed in interviews after the verdict.
For Oland to have brought a weapon to the meeting with his father suggests premeditation, yet Oland was only charged with second-degree murder. Online posts suggest he is a hobbyist who fills his off-hours sailing, tracing the Oland family�s genealogical roots, and restoring old cars.
Oland says he went to his father�s office after work on July 6, 2011, to give him a copy of a family will, 190 years old, that showed the family�s founder had been illegitimate. He said they laughed about it together because some members of the extended Oland family might find the news embarrassing.
Pathologist Dr. Ather Naseemuddin said in an interview that he wasn�t questioned about the direction of the blows during his testimony by either the prosecutor or the defence. Defence lawyers Gary Miller and Alan Gold confirmed this. In a telephone interview last January at his office at Saint John Regional Hospital, Naseemuddin said �I can�t recall� being asked by the Crown prosecutors or the defence whether the assailant was right or left handed.
Miller said in an interview in January 2016 that Naseemuddin was �mute� in court on the directions of the blows, but the lawyer agreed with the premise that it�s reasonable to expect that deeper wounds to the left side of the head would result from a right-handed killer wielding a weapon in a frontal assault. Naseemuddin wasn�t asked about that directly in court, Miller said.

However, Naseemuddin did testify that six fractures on the left side of Oland�s head were �more rapidly fatal� than the ones to the right.
That suggests �a right-handed assailant,� forensic psychologist Dr. Eric Mart of Portsmouth, N.H., said in an interview. Mart has provided expert testimony for courts in Canada and the United States on the mental state of those perpetrating violent offences.
Four of the blows created a depressed area in the skull measuring about 10 centimetres in length, seven centimetres in width and two centimetres deep. Some of them �breached the outer table of the skull,� and �entered the cranial cavity,� reaching the brain, the court heard.

Video of Dennis Oland leaving his father�s office on the evening Richard Oland was killed � his face appearing serene and his clothing clean � raises doubts that he attacked his father in a sudden fit of rage because his clothing would have been bloodied and he would have had trouble regaining his composure in the time available, according to Mart.

Other video, presented in court for the time surrounding his father�s death, actually appears to offer evidence of innocence. In the two separate videos taken later in the evening of the murder, Dennis is seen shopping at a pharmacy for cold medicine for his wife and then at Cochran�s Country Market in Rothesay for a watermelon at about the time witnesses testified they heard loud noises coming from his father�s office.

No blood was found in his car or on a reusable grocery bag, folded up in the trunk, which he was carrying to and from his father�s office. A dry cleaner, who inspected the brown jacket Dennis is wearing in the video and was taken for cleaning two days after the murder, testified that Dennis�s jacket was not stained with blood or gore.
more in the link should the reader wish to continue....

Their strikes me to be some hogwash in the way the defense portrays these items, particularly the financial motives. They state that Dennis's mom received Dick's money, but that's not really true.  Connie received the house and RRSP's. She also receives the income generated by the Far North investments, but the the investments themselves, 30 million plus, belong to Dennis and his sisters. While that money is indeed in trust, the trustees, depending upon it's terms, can access the capital should the want too. And while the defense here is arguing that Dennis had a tidy income as a broker we know that his boss was giving him multiple advances because he couldn't pay his bills, and his credit cards were maxed out. That doesn't jibe with their contention of 'no financial motive' to me.     

I don't think it matters who requests a trial by either judge or jury jb. Both sides have to agree or it doesn't happen.

Well, the trick to get out of another trial, is to not agree..... and go free?

er.... Something is not making sense.... I think I am missing something.
Am wearing my "stupid hat" today.


It will be by jury unless crown, defence, and judge agree otherwise. If the defence wants a judge only trial and the others don't agree, too bad for the defence. It proceeds as a jury trial.

This time around, who has the choice? Re; by judge or jury? Prosecution or Defendant?


The Criminal Code stipulates all homicide cases are to be heard by a judge and jury, but the defence or Crown can request a judge-alone trial. The other party must consent and its decision cannot be appealed.

Apparently the Crown wouldn't accede to that, at least at this point.     

Dennis Oland has been granted a new trial by Supreme Court of Canada. His lawyers asked for an acquittal, and the prosecution asked for his conviction to be reinstated.

thanks for that. Officially it's the NB Court of Appeal that granted the new trial- the Supreme Court of Canada by not hearing the appeals lets that decision continue to stand.

I wonder when  that will be? The NB government is broke, and this would be an expensive retrial. Any chance the crown doesn't proceed?

thanks. And apparently the crown wants a jury trial again. I can't wait!   

Dennis Oland has been granted a new trial by Supreme Court of Canada. His lawyers asked for an acquittal, and the prosecution asked for his conviction to be reinstated.

thanks for that. Officially it's the NB Court of Appeal that granted the new trial- the Supreme Court of Canada by not hearing the appeals lets that decision continue to stand.

I wonder when  that will be? The NB government is broke, and this would be an expensive retrial. Any chance the crown doesn't proceed?

Something I did not know - until I read the book.

In the preliminary hearing - a roaming ping came from Dick's phone three days after his murder.  Dick's boat was moored in the US.

The prosecution suggested that the ping probably came from the shock stick that was on board.

The Roger's tecky - said no - "I dialed Dick's cell number"

The judge said  "there could have been a number of ways that the cell phone arrived in the U>S, and the missing cell phone is a mystery"..

This was not entered into the trial.

If the roaming signal did come from the US - how did it get there?


Interesting. I don't know how relevant this is but when I am around the St. Stephen/ St. Andrews area of New Brunswick, by the border,  my phone will sometimes ping off of an American tower. It's annoying because then I get dinged with a foreign roaming charge. My cell phone statement then reports the call as having originated in the city of that tower's regional or head office, such that it reports my phone having pinged in Boston even though I never crossed the American border, let alone gone to Boston, a good 700 km's away.  Just a thought.


Dick's Will left his $37 million estate to his wife, with trust funds to be set up for his heirs. Upon Connie Oland's death, the estate was to be divided among his three children. (The debt owed by Dennis would be deducted from his share).

Interesting summation.

Just to clarify,  Dick's estate was (and now is) to be held in trust with Connie receiving the income from the trust, but not the 37 million dollars in capital. The capital of the trust was to be held in trust until her death, at which time it is to be dissolved and shared among the kids. The trustees, Dennis and Robert McFadden, could dip into the capital for her needs if necessary. Perhaps to pay any legal bills that might arise after his death, though I wonder if all siblings would be happy about that??     

If the trust is earning 5% that would be over $1.8 million annually, should that 5% all be paid out (which I doubt).

BaySailor - thank you.

To say it in simple words, the man lied!

I was shocked when Dennis added to the court on the stand, that he returned to the office the third time. How odd that it has been left out in this latest appeal.

Thanks again,

I had forgotten about that. I'd look forward to seeing how the two sides handle that at a new trial. 

BaySailor, can you provide the link?  I would like to read it.

Thanks in advance.

I wonder how the courts could call a lie - circumstantial evidence? Do they mean circumstantial evidence for the prosecution towards guilt of the defendant?
And the judge should have instructed the jury that they may consider the lie as circumstantial?  I am being redundant..... confused as well.


the link is here...

and section  1 [9] details the heart of the reasoning. And to your point, yes, a lie may constitute incriminating evidence if and only if it was concocted to conceal the accused's involvement in the murder AND there is other evidence to show that it was concocted. Notably, instructions must be made to the jury by the judge explaining this. Judge Walsh did not do that.   

The NB Court of Appeal has posted on their website their reasoning behind the setting aside of the verdict and the ordering of a new trial. It's simply put and good reading for those that have followed the case. In essence, the verdict was reasonable in their view however the judges instructions around Dennis's misstatement of which jacket he was wearing the day of the murder suggested that the jury could consider the misstatement as circumstantial evidence if they believed it to be a deliberate lie. The Court of Appeal states that the misstatement could only be considered as circumstantial evidence if they believed it to be a deliberate lie AND there was some other evidence suggesting that it was a deliberate lie. The absence of the second part in the Judges instructions is the reason for the setting aside of the verdict. The COA did say the judge got the rules around admissibility of the evidence taken from the jacket correctly, which the Defense had argued vehemently against.

LE and doc testimony showed the guy was actively psychotic before the murder, and there is no evidence of pre-planning, and I doubt he was even capable of planning at that point, so FDM seems to me to be completely at odds with the prosecutions evidence. He clearly has significant mental health issues. It seems to me it's cut and dried second degree murder, unless he can prove he was psychotic at the moment he pulled the trigger. He shouldn't have been let go from Emerg., and either the training or decision making of the Emerg. doc, the lack of a psychiatrist on call at the hospital, or the Mental health act needs review IMO. This should have been prevented by an effective screening process when he presented his symptoms to LE and the hospital.   

On the news today he is going through a hearing to remain out on bail before his new trial. So this is still to be confirmed whether he will remain out on bail or not. This bail he has now is temporary, I thought that was it, but he is at a hearing today according to the news.

The bail he is out on is unrelated to the bail that was being discussed at the Supreme Court today. He is currently out on a  bail that is one of a person arrested for murder awaiting trial. The bail hearing today was for that of a person convicted of murder but awaiting an appeal hearing. As such, today's hearing was irrelevant for Dennis as he is no longer considered a convicted murder awaiting an appeal, since his first trial was thrown out. The hearing was held today anyway to help courts decide in the future whether or not somebody in the position Dennis was in, before the trial was thrown out, might be granted bail. It's simply an opportunity for the Supreme Court of Canada to clarify for lower courts what may or may not be appropriate for future cases. I hope that helps.     

Given the retrial was ordered simply on the basis of the judges directions to the jury, and that none of the evidence or testimony brought forward by the defense was deemed inadmissible by the appeal court, the prosecution has the identical case to bring forward again- one that a jury found plausible. If that case was strong enough to try the first time I would think it would be enough to try a second time unless the prosecution believes that something excluded during the first trial was so critical to their case that it makes a fresh conviction unlikely. But, given the the jury's first verdict, I would think that unlikely.       

  I don't know if it's possible in a matter this serious for the defendant to elect trial by judge alone (I think I recall another murder trial in NB years ago where it was but the name escapes me) but that might very well be the best route to take.  Personally, for various reasons, I'm never comfortable with those types of trials when serious offences are involved, but if it's best for all concerned so be it.

I believe that the defenses initial request for a jury trial must stand, and though the defense can make an application to have that changed to a trial by judge, the prosecution has to accept the request.

edit: beaten to it!

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