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Oland’s lawyers ask Supreme Court of Canada for murder acquittal

Dennis Oland heads from court in Fredericton, on Oct. 24, 2016.


Dennis Oland's lawyers have asked the Supreme Court of Canada to acquit him of second-degree murder based on five issues of "public importance," including evidence they argue was at odds with the Crown's assertion that he murdered his multimillionaire father.

The lawyers said in documents filed with the court that his conviction was unreasonable, and argue the evidence of trial witness Anthony Shaw ran counter to the Crown's case.

The documents note Shaw testified he heard "thumping" noises coming from Richard Oland's Saint John, N.B., office during the same time frame Dennis Oland was caught on a security camera shopping with his wife in a nearby town, roughly 15 minutes away.

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"(Oland) was the last known person to be seen with his father. However, the prosecution's theory that (Oland) had the opportunity to murder his father was at odds with the testimony of Anthony Shaw, a Crown witness who provided (him) with an alibi," the defence argues in its cross-appeal the Crown's application seeking a restoration of Oland's conviction.

"Significantly, Mr. Shaw had a reference point for the noises: the time a young man came into the (printing) business to send a fax, memorialized by a computerized timestamp of 8:11 p.m."

Another issued raised by his lawyers was whether police were authorized to forensically test Dennis Oland's brown sports jacket, where three small specks of his father's DNA were found.

"(The defence) submits that this issue merits this (court's) consideration in light of the continuing post-seizure privacy interests that are increasingly recognized in the case law and the intrusiveness of post-seizure forensic searches now available due to advances in forensic technology," it said.

Other issues include whether the Crown should have cross-examined Oland about his alleged motive, how the courts should have dealt with "after-the-fact conduct" — including his statement to police about which jacket he was wearing on the day in question — and the reliability of computer-generated evidence.

Well-known businessman Richard Oland was bludgeoned to death in his office in July 2011.

Dennis Oland was convicted of second-degree murder in 2015 and sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 10 years.

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He appealed in January of last year and sought release, but the bail request was turned down — a decision that was later affirmed by the New Brunswick Court of Appeal.

Dennis Oland was subsequently granted release by the same court last October, when a new trial was ordered after he had spent almost a year in prison.

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