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Dennis Oland's retrial in father's murder set to resume after unexpected delay

Dennis Oland arrives at the Law Courts in Saint John, N.B., on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018. The stalled retrial of Dennis Oland for the second degree murder of his father, Richard Oland, is due to resume on Tuesday morning in a Saint John courtroom. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

SAINT JOHN, N.B. — The stalled retrial of Dennis Oland for the second degree murder of his father, Richard Oland, is due to resume on Tuesday morning in a Saint John courtroom.

It has been more than a month since 16 jury members were selected for what is expected to be a lengthy, four-month trial, but an unplanned, two-week delay has set back the trial schedule.

Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Terrence Morrison told jurors on Nov. 7 when he announced the adjournment that an “unexpected legal issue” had to be resolved before the trial could begin.

“Unfortunately, it has become clear that we need some more time,” Morrison said, as he dismissed the jurors until Tuesday at 9:30 a.m.

Information relating to the delay is under a publication ban.

This is the second trial of Dennis Oland, 50, a financial adviser, in the bludgeoning death of his multi-millionaire father.

Richard Oland’s body was discovered on the morning of July 7, 2011, in his uptown Saint John office. The 69-year-old businessman and former executive of Moosehead Breweries Ltd. had been beaten to death.

Dennis Oland, his only son, was charged with second degree murder in 2013. He was tried in 2015 but the jury verdict in that case was set aside on appeal in 2016 and a new trial ordered.

Oland has been present throughout the jury selection and legal proceedings. At the start of jury selection last month, he once again pleaded not guilty to killing his father.

Oland, supported by his family, has steadfastly maintained his innocence.

Earlier this month, the Oland family once again issued a statement of support for Dennis. His mother and Richard’s widow, Connie; his wife, Lisa, and his uncle Derek, executive chairman of Moosehead, and his wife Jacqueline, all signed the statement.

“We wish to restate our steadfast support for Dennis and our faith that the judicial process will prove his innocence,” the family said in the statement

“Our family has endured an unimaginable ordeal since Dick’s death in 2011 which has been compounded by Dennis’ groundless arrest … During this time our faith in Dennis’ innocence has never wavered.”

The prominence and wealth of the Oland family combined with the violent killing and the exhaustive legal proceedings have made the murder case the most high-profile in New Brunswick history.

Chris Morris, The Canadian Press