The Supreme Court of Canada will not review the overturning of Dennis Oland's second-degree murder conviction in the 2011 bludgeoning death of his father, the Saint John businessman and Moosehead brewing scion Richard Oland.
The decision Thursday morning means that Mr. Oland will face a retrial in a case that has shocked and enthralled his home province.
Mr. Oland's defence and the Crown were both seeking a leave to appeal last October's ruling by the New Brunswick Court of Appeal. The Office of the Attorney General was looking to have the original conviction reinstated, while the defence sought an acquittal from the country's highest court.
Instead, the case will return to New Brunswick, in a province where few people lack an opinion about the sensational murder.
The three-judge panel had been considering the application since June 12 but did not give reasons for its decision, which is typical.
Richard Oland, 69, was discovered face-down in a pool of blood in his downtown Saint John office on July 7, 2011, with dozens of wounds to his head, neck and hands. Police never found a weapon but suspected the use of a drywall hammer.
Dennis Oland, 49, the last person known to have seen his father alive, was convicted of second-degree murder in December, 2015, and sentenced to life in prison without the chance of parole for 10 years, but had his conviction overturned by the New Brunswick Court of Appeal last October.
Scheduling a new trial was postponed while the Supreme Court considered whether to hear Mr. Oland's case.
The appeal court ruled that the original trial judge in Mr. Oland's case erred in his instructions to the jury, failing to warn them against inferring guilt from Mr. Oland's untruthful statement about the kind of jacket he was wearing the night of his father's killing. He told police he had been wearing a navy blue blazer when security camera footage showed him wearing a brown sports jacket that was later found to be stained with four tiny spots of his father's blood.
In March, the Supreme Court handed Mr. Oland a partial victory, ruling that the New Brunswick Court of Appeal was wrong to deny him bail while his appeal was being heard, a precedent-setting decision given that Mr. Oland had been convicted of murder, but mooted in his case because he had already been released from jail pending his new trial.
Richard Oland had left the family brewing empire years before his death in a feud with his older brother Derek, but the 69-year-old's brutal killing became an obsession in New Brunswick, and especially in Saint John, where Moosehead and the Olands were famed local institutions and major employers. The gruesome nature of the crime and the tabloid-style revelations of family dysfunction and infidelity that emerged in court only fuelled interest in a case that was frequently referred to as the "Maritimes' O.J. trial."
Revelations of police incompetence in the case, including its mishandling of the blood-stained brown sports jacket, further galvanized public interest in the trial and sparked a government review of officers' conduct.
Dennis Oland was the Saint John police's only serious suspect throughout its more than two-year investigation. Falsehoods in his police interview, DNA testing of his jacket, and an imputed motive driven by long-standing tensions between he and his demanding, irascible father contributed to his arrest in November, 2013.
The Oland family has always maintained that Dennis is innocent.