New Brunswick

Dennis Oland murder trial jury may hear from up to 62 witnesses

The jury at Dennis Oland's second-degree murder trial in Saint John may hear from as many as 62 witnesses.

Witness No. 17 scheduled to testify on Thursday morning

The jury at Dennis Oland's second-degree murder trial in Saint John may hear from as many as 62 witnesses.

Dennis Oland, 46, has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder in the 2011 death of his father, prominent businessman Richard Oland. (CBC)
Dennis Oland, 46, is accused of killing his father, prominent businessman Richard Oland, in July 2011.

Witness No. 17 is scheduled to take the stand on Thursday morning.

Prosecutors have not said who it will be, but all indications are it is a key witness to the Crown's case.

Justice John Walsh told the jury last Friday that the witness in question is expected to have to testify twice during the trial.

Earlier in the day Friday, Walsh had said the trial was running on schedule. But court wrapped up early that day and again on Tuesday, and the jury had a surprise day off on Wednesday.

The judge told them an "unexpected issue" had arisen.

It's unclear if or how the adjournments will affect the overall schedule. The trial is scheduled to run until Dec. 18. 

Richard Oland, 69, was found dead in his Saint John office on July 7, 2011. (Canadian Yachting Association)
Earlier this week, the jury heard from two RCMP computer forensic experts.

Payman Hakimian, who is based in Fredericton, and Neil Walker, who is based in Halifax, both analyzed computers seized from Richard Oland's uptown investment firm office, Far End Corporation.

Hakimian determined the last human activity on most of Oland's computers was at 5:39 p.m. on July 6, 2011 — shortly after his son had stopped by his office at 52 Canterbury St., for a visit.

Hakimian also discovered that Oland's iPhone, which was the only item that disappeared from the crime scene and was never recovered, had been backed up on his main computer that afternoon.

Walker testified about text messages extracted from that computer backup, which revealed details about an extramarital affair Oland was having.

The messages between Oland and Diana Sedlacek during his last 48 hours of life suggest an intimate relationship and indicate the pair was planning a trip to Portland, Me.

Richard Oland's bludgeoned body was discovered lying face down in a pool of blood in his uptown investment firm office on July 7, 2011.

He suffered 40 sharp and blunt force injuries to his head an neck and six defensive wounds to his hands, lead Crown prosecutor P.J. Veniot has said.

Dennis Oland, his only son, was the last known person to see him alive. He has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder.

NOTE: The text messages in white in the court document below were sent by Diana Sedlacek to Richard Oland and the green ones are his replies. The only exception is the last green message, which was actually sent by Sedlacek, a computer forensic expert clarified for the court on Tuesday. The time stamp on each message should also be an hour later, the expert told the court, saying the software program used to extract them from the computer backup of Oland's iPhone did not account for daylight savings.