SAINT JOHN, N.B. — A man who was among the first to arrive after businessman Richard Oland’s body was found told Dennis Oland’s murder trial Monday the first thing he noticed was a sickening smell.

Preston Chiasson was at Printing Plus below Richard Oland’s office in Saint John, N.B., on July 7, 2011, when the victim’s secretary, Maureen Adamson, came into the shop looking for help.

“I immediately thought Richard was in trouble and I went to help,” he testified.

Chiasson said he noticed the smell:  “It was nauseating.”

Asked by Crown attorney J.P. Veniot what he saw when he went further in the office, Chiasson replied: “Richard on the floor, slaughtered.”

Justice John Walsh of the Court of Queen’s Bench warned the jury and those in the public gallery that pictures from the office would be graphic. They showed the 69-year-old Oland face-down on the floor, his head and upper body in a pool of blood.

His 46-year-old son, Dennis Oland, has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder.

One of the first police officers to arrive at the offices of the Far End Corp. was Const. Duane Squires of the Saint John Police Force, who got a call at 8:52 a.m. to go to 52 Canterbury St.

He also noticed the smell when he arrived.

“One that I am familiar with,” he added. “The smell of a decaying body.”

Squires said he saw a lot of blood spatter in the room and that he, another officer, and a police cadet left after about a minute and were careful not to disturb anything.

Paramedics left after less than a minute in the office as well, Squires said, telling the police officers that rigor mortis had set in and the man had been dead for some time.

Veniot told the jury in his opening submission last week that Oland was killed in a violent outburst that resulted in 40 blows to his head and neck.


The Canadian Press