Dennis Oland

The preliminary inquiry for Dennis Oland, who is charged with second-degree murder in his father's death, began in Saint John on May 12. (CBC)

A preliminary inquiry for Dennis Oland has been extended by nearly three weeks, stretching into October.

Oland, 46, is accused of murdering his father, prominent businessman Richard Oland, nearly three years ago.

The hearing, which began in Saint John provincial court on May 12, will decide if there's enough evidence to go to trial.

A total of 20 non-consecutive days had initially been set aside, ending in mid-July.

But the hearing is taking longer than expected and nearly three more weeks were added on Tuesday, at the request of both the Crown and defence.


Businessman Richard Oland was found dead in his Saint John office on July 7, 2011. (Canadian Yachting Association)

The additional dates include: Aug. 18-22, Aug. 25-28 and Oct. 6-9.

The preliminary inquiry was already falling behind schedule after only two days.

At that time, Crown prosecutor John Henheffer could not estimate how far behind, but said he hoped they could make up the lost time along the way.

About 60 witnesses could be called to testify.

Judge Ronald LeBlanc has been brought in from Bathurst to hear the case.

He has imposed a publication ban on the evidence presented during the hearing.

The ban will only be lifted if Oland is discharged or at the end of a trial — if a trial is ordered.

Richard Oland, 69, was found dead in his uptown office on July 7, 2011.

Dennis Oland, who was charged on Nov. 12, 2013, but is free on bail, has been attending the hearing, accompanied by several relatives, including his mother, Connie, his two sisters, Lisa Bustin and Jacqueline Walsh, and his wife, Lisa.

The public hearing is expected to continue on Thursday. The other scheduled dates include: June 23-24, July 7-10 and July 14-17.