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Messages - BaySailor

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31
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.

32
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.   

33
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.     

34
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.       

35
  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!

36
So if 5000 jury summons were issued and 1000 potential jurors screened the first time around, how many will they need a second time when EVERYBODY in southern NB is now well aware of the circumstances from the first trial? You couldn't avoid hearing about it in Saint John. Will this not be a problem?

37
I should have stated that my comment regarding the family hiring of investigators was for the period after the conviction. I am aware that someone did such prior to the trial and I too assume that was Gold. I can't imagine any family not doing so themselves after the conviction was registered in the interest of both justice for the incarcerated son, and the murdered father when they believe the true killer to be another person. It is not an uncommon occurrence where such hired help hand their leads to the prosecuting attorneys. I have not heard of anyone sniffing around Rothesay or Saint John since the original trial.

I believe, but am not certain, that the private investigators hired shortly after the murder were interviewing potential witnesses. That would lead me to think that this was preparation for a defense as opposed to a search for a different suspect. Dennis left the police station the day after his father died knowing they believed he was the killer.     

We don't know what measures and efforts the Oland's have taken to exonerate Dennis. But one thing is certain, without police assistance and cooperation, it is an impossible mission. Surely you know this BaySailor.

First of all, I am sure that law enforcement would reopen the case if someone brought new evidence forward, particularly given the connections the Olands have. Rothesay is full of lawyers and judges, including a former Supreme  Court of NB judge whose family Dennis is very close to. Between their own lawyers and their connections I am certain they have the influence to have the case reopened if anything interesting would show up. They have the money to hire the best investigators available should they want to. In my conversations with family members and friends there has been no inkling of any attempts to pursue other options. That doesn't mean that there hasn't been, but my crowd in Rothesay are unaware of such a thing and it appears the press aren't either.           

Are you saying that you have had conversations with Oland family members and friends, or are you referring to your family members and friends?  Just curious.  :)

The former.

38
Sorry to learn that there will possibly be fall out among family members.  One would hope they would stick together during all of this.

This may be very difficult for their mother, who would be working so hard to keep everything together.

At times like this, siblings can take sides - it is not uncommon. Very often one is left out in the cold... Friends stand by and watch with a helpless feeling, yet they cannot interfere.
Divorces can create hard feelings, and family breakups as an example, but murder creates chaos in families.

One tragedy heaped upon another.

Nothing much can be done. It is in their hands to bring their relationships towards an even keel, and a better understanding.

I wish them all the best.

jb

Well said.

39
I agree with you BaySailor.

In my own opinion,  the families main goal has never changed - Get Dennis home and make sure that he never returns to jail.

 I doubt that the family will really look for anyone else.  Why would they want to stir up the pot? They would want to put this nightmare behind them.

They would hope that all will settle down - much of it will be forgotten in time, and they can continue on as normal within their own social group, as if nothing ever happened.- without Dick of course.

Perhaps this Xmas, they will forego THE  flaming Xmas pudding - that constantly sputtered out sending Dick into a tirade ruining the whole day for everyone.

I don't think they will miss that.

jb

OK, that was funny! Yes, perhaps they'll have pie at Christmas instead.

They still have the difficult task of rebuilding the family, and it will be interesting to see if and what any fall-out there might be among the siblings. Given he is now innocent under the law he could resume his involvement in Far End, which would have it's 3 shareholders controlling an enormous amount of money- Dennis, a sister who supported him, and one who didn't.   

40
I should have stated that my comment regarding the family hiring of investigators was for the period after the conviction. I am aware that someone did such prior to the trial and I too assume that was Gold. I can't imagine any family not doing so themselves after the conviction was registered in the interest of both justice for the incarcerated son, and the murdered father when they believe the true killer to be another person. It is not an uncommon occurrence where such hired help hand their leads to the prosecuting attorneys. I have not heard of anyone sniffing around Rothesay or Saint John since the original trial.

I believe, but am not certain, that the private investigators hired shortly after the murder were interviewing potential witnesses. That would lead me to think that this was preparation for a defense as opposed to a search for a different suspect. Dennis left the police station the day after his father died knowing they believed he was the killer.     

We don't know what measures and efforts the Oland's have taken to exonerate Dennis. But one thing is certain, without police assistance and cooperation, it is an impossible mission. Surely you know this BaySailor.

First of all, I am sure that law enforcement would reopen the case if someone brought new evidence forward, particularly given the connections the Olands have. Rothesay is full of lawyers and judges, including a former Supreme  Court of NB judge whose family Dennis is very close to. Between their own lawyers and their connections I am certain they have the influence to have the case reopened if anything interesting would show up. They have the money to hire the best investigators available should they want to. In my conversations with family members and friends there has been no inkling of any attempts to pursue other options. That doesn't mean that there hasn't been, but my crowd in Rothesay are unaware of such a thing and it appears the press aren't either.             

41
I should have stated that my comment regarding the family hiring of investigators was for the period after the conviction. I am aware that someone did such prior to the trial and I too assume that was Gold. I can't imagine any family not doing so themselves after the conviction was registered in the interest of both justice for the incarcerated son, and the murdered father when they believe the true killer to be another person. It is not an uncommon occurrence where such hired help hand their leads to the prosecuting attorneys. I have not heard of anyone sniffing around Rothesay or Saint John since the original trial.

I believe, but am not certain, that the private investigators hired shortly after the murder were interviewing potential witnesses. That would lead me to think that this was preparation for a defense as opposed to a search for a different suspect. Dennis left the police station the day after his father died knowing they believed he was the killer.       

42
if it was not Dennis, is there someone else that hated this man.

He was about the most disliked man I know, in fact the most, I think. He'd also had some difficult business relationships that includes a contractor once punching him in the face. That being said, there are no other suspects. None.

That we know of.
Nish

Both the police and prosecution have stated that there aren't, and clearly Gold would have brought forward any reasonable alternatives in his defense presentation; to not do so would be negligent.

Of course the police and prosecution would state there is no other suspect. With the contamination of the crime scene by police, and the tunnel vision of police on day one of the investigation, there was no chance for a thorough investigation into this murder. I think we have to agree that it was a crime of passion (or less likely, a random drugged-out maniac). As far as another suspect being considered, if LE had RO's cell phone, I think a viable suspect who hated him (one of many) would have shown up on his phone log.  There was no reason for Dennis to take RO's phone. He could easily explain every call made, or received from his father.  IMO it makes more sense that the real killer took and disposed of RO's phone for the obvious reason of disposing of evidence. That it pinged off the Rothesay tower was one more peg in Dennis's coffin of circumstantial evidence. 

LE will never investigate another suspect, and Dennis will never be cleared by a sector of public opinion, if he gets off or not.

There are a variety of reasons why Dennis, if the killer, could have wanted to take his fathers iphone, including problematic web searches, compromising photos of the mistress, and texts or phone calls he might have felt were incriminating. It's quite probable the killer had no idea what calls and texts could be traced without the phone- I certainly didn't until this trial started.

If the Olands wanted to find the killer, either for justice for Dick or exoneration for Dennis, they have over 30 million bucks at their disposal to hire investigators with, without Derek or others pitching in. 2 years later they haven't got anything to give their defense team?   

43
if it was not Dennis, is there someone else that hated this man.

He was about the most disliked man I know, in fact the most, I think. He'd also had some difficult business relationships that includes a contractor once punching him in the face. That being said, there are no other suspects. None.

That we know of.
Nish

Both the police and prosecution have stated that there aren't, and clearly Gold would have brought forward any reasonable alternatives in his defense presentation; to not do so would be negligent. 

44
if it was not Dennis, is there someone else that hated this man.

He was about the most disliked man I know, in fact the most, I think. He'd also had some difficult business relationships that includes a contractor once punching him in the face. That being said, there are no other suspects. None. 

45

I am curious as to why Dennis' sister Lisa doesn't appear to be around in the trial or this appeal. Also agree that maximum security is not required for Dennis. But where else do they send a person convicted of murder?

There's a bit of a split there, the biggest tragedy here in IMO, that and the fact that some kids will live with this hanging over their heads regardless of the final decision.

Medium security penitentiarys  have their fare share of murderers in them, and I suspect very low risk offenders go to minimum security before long. I toured Springhill with a corrections officer years ago (I doubt they'd allow that now) and the cell I visited on one wing was that of a fellow convicted for a drug related murder. Security still seemed pretty tight (other than them allowing me in, of course).  Dorchester has both medium and minimum and might be easier to transition an inmate from one to the other, but the old building is a very foreboding place. It feels like an 18th century British asylum (from the outside!)

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