SAINT JOHN, N.B. — Prosecutors say the son of high-profile New Brunswick businessman Richard Oland was in dire financial straits at the time of his father’s death.

Crown attorney P.J. Venoit told court Wednesday that the businessman was killed in a violent outburst that resulted in 40 blows to his head and neck.

The Crown made the allegation as the trial of Oland’s son, Dennis Oland, began in Saint John.

He has pleaded not guilty to a charge of second-degree murder in the death of his 69-year-old father, who was found dead in his Saint John office in July 2011.

The trial continues today and is expected to last 65 days.

Venoit told court Richard Oland gave his son a $500,000 loan and that Dennis Oland was also paying thousands of dollars per month in child support payments.

The Canadian Press