New Brunswick

Oland family offers reward for info to help solve Richard Oland's murder

Dennis Oland's family has renewed its offer of a reward for information that might help find the real killer of his father, multimillionaire Richard Oland.

Offer comes in response to chief saying police have no plans to resume investigation

Dennis Oland, 51, was found not guilty July 19 of killing his father more than eight years ago. (Roger Cosman/CBC)

Dennis Oland's family has renewed its offer of a reward for information that might help find the real killer of his father, multimillionaire Richard Oland.

The move comes after Saint John police Chief Bruce Connell said Tuesday that the force has no plans to resume the 2011 investigation, despite Dennis Oland being found not guilty of second-degree murder at his retrial last month.

"The family of Dennis Oland would certainly renew its offer of a reward, something that may provide the police with additional information or new evidence, which Chief Connell has suggested is required for further investigation to take place," a statement issued Wednesday by Oland family lawyer Bill Teed said.

No dollar amount was provided.

On Tuesday, Public Prosecution Services announced it will not appeal Oland's acquittal.

As a family, we believe our husband and father deserves better.- Oland family statement

In response, the chief said, "As the court process has run its course, the file is no longer an active investigation."

But Connell did say the force will consider any additional information or evidence that "comes to our attention."

The Oland family said, "sitting and waiting for clues to be delivered … is a very disappointing response."

"We would have thought that the complete re-examination of the evidence by fresh eyes — a common step used by many police forces in reviewing old cases — would have been the obvious next step," the statement said.

"As a family, we believe our husband and father deserves better."

Richard Oland, 69, was found dead in his Saint John office on July 7, 2011. (Canadian Yachting Association)

During Oland's retrial, defence lawyer Alan Gold told the court the family had offered to post a reward for information leading to the arrest of Richard Oland's killer two months after his bludgeoned body was discovered.

But the response of then-chief Bill Reid was, "It would not be proper for us to issue this reward because … we know Dennis did it," Gold alleged.

The defence argued it was an example of the tunnel vision police demonstrated against Dennis Oland.

No grounds for appeal

New Brunswick Court of Queen's Bench Justice Terrence Morrison found Oland not guilty on July 19.

He said there was "much to implicate" Oland in the brutal killing, but there were "too many missing pieces" in the Crown's case to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

After a careful review of Morrison's 146-page decision, Public Prosecution Services found there were no available grounds of appeal.

The body of Richard Oland, of the prominent Moosehead Breweries family, was discovered face down in a pool of blood in his uptown Saint John investment firm office on the morning of July 7, 2011.

The 69-year-old had suffered 45 sharp-and blunt-force injuries to his head, neck and hands. No weapon was ever found, and the only confirmed item that disappeared from the crime scene was the victim's cellphone.

His son, who was the last known person to see him alive when he visited him at his office the night before, was charged with second-degree murder in November 2013.

A jury found him guilty in 2015, and he served about 10 months in prison before the Court of Appeal overturned his conviction and ordered a new trial, citing errs in the trial judge's instructions.

Oland and his family have maintained his innocence from the beginning.