A sports jacket with blood on it was seized from the home of Richard Oland’s son as part of the police investigation into the New Brunswick businessman’s death, court documents say.
The documents released on Friday, which are transcripts of testimony from a lead investigator in the case, say the brown jacket found in the home of Dennis Oland is a key piece of evidence in the investigation.
During an in-camera court proceeding in July, 2012, Constable Stephen Davidson of the Saint John police called the jacket “one of the most important pieces of evidence we have in proving this case and taking it to trial.”
No charges have been laid against Dennis Oland and no arrests have been made in the case.
A redacted copy of Constable Davidson’s testimony was previously released, but provincial court Judge R. Leslie Jackson made more of it public on Friday after an application by the CBC and the New Brunswick Telegraph-Journal.
Constable Davidson testified that the blood was tested. The results of those tests are redacted from the transcripts.
Search warrants that have been made public previously say that when Dennis Oland was questioned by police, he said he was wearing a blue jacket on July 6, 2011 – the day before his father’s body was found – but two people told police they saw him wearing a brown jacket that day.
Those warrants also say that a surveillance video showed Dennis Oland wearing a brown jacket when he arrived and left his place of work that day.
The same documents say police have said Dennis Oland is a suspect in the case, and that he was “experiencing financial hardships” and owed his father more than $500,000.
Calls to Dennis Oland and his lawyer, Gary Miller, were not returned on Friday.
The information released on Friday also says that in addition to the sports jacket, police were focusing on a number of clothing items belonging to Dennis Oland that had been dry cleaned within days of his father’s death.
The transcripts say Constable Davidson testified that he wanted that information to remain sealed because police intended to execute a search warrant at the dry cleaners.
“And for that reason and because of the involvement with some private investigators in the past, our concern would be two-fold,” he testified.
“One, we don’t want Mr. Oland to know at this point that our investigation focuses on the dry cleaners – the purposes of any further interrogations – and two, we don’t want anybody to become aware of this evidence that may try to obstruct or interfere with the dry cleaners themselves.”
The documents do not say who hired the private investigators Constable Davidson refers to in his testimony. But they say that at least one person was questioning whether they were prepared to continue to co-operate in the police investigation “as a result of the actions of these private investigators.”
Richard Oland was a member of the family that owns Moosehead Breweries Ltd., but left the company in the 1980s.
He also worked in the trucking business, at the Saint John Shipbuilding and Drydock Co., and as a director of several firms.
He also served as president of the board of the 1985 Canada Summer Games in Saint John, and was appointed an officer of the Order of Canada in 1998.