No blood or DNA from Dennis Oland on father or at crime scene: court hears

SAINT JOHN, N.B. — A forensic identification officer with the Saint John police department says no blood or DNA from Dennis Oland was found on Richard Oland or at the crime scene where the 69-year-old businessman was killed in July 2011.

The defence resumed its cross-examination of Sgt. Mark Smith on Thursday after he told the jury a day earlier that the scene of Oland’s murder was one of the bloodiest he had ever encountered.

Dennis Oland is accused of killing his father, whose body was found in a pool of blood in his Saint John office on July 7, 2011. He has pleaded not guilty to a charge of second-degree murder.

Defence lawyer Gary Miller has focused questions on the crime scene and the large amount of blood spatter and the likelihood that the killer would have blood on them.

Under questioning Thursday, Smith said no blood was found on many items introduced as evidence.

“Am I correct that you never received any information whatsoever by way of reports or otherwise that any blood or DNA identified as Richard Oland’s was found on the following items seized from my client’s residence on July 14, 2011 — namely shoes, pants, shirts, blue shorts, a garbage pail in the bathroom at his residence and his cellphone?” Miller asked. 

“Correct,” Smith replied.

Smith also agreed that he didn’t receive any confirmation of Richard Oland’s blood in Dennis Oland’s Volkswagen Golf, a reusable grocery bag or its contents from the trunk of the car, or on a logbook that the younger Oland had been told to take from his father’s office on July 6, 2011.

“Am I also correct that you never received any information whatsoever by reports or otherwise that any blood or DNA identified as Dennis Oland’s was found on Richard Oland’s body or at the crime scene at 52 Canterbury Street?” Miller asked.

“Yes, none was located,” Smith replied.

Smith testified Wednesday that some of the 40 blows to the businessman’s head were caused by a hammer-type instrument while others were inflicted with a blade-like weapon. The blade-like weapon left wounds that were six to seven centimetres long, while the hammer-like impacts were round and about three centimetres in diameter, he said.

Those wounds were described in more detail when pathologist Dr. Ather Naseemuddin testified Thursday.

Naseemuddin performed the examination and autopsy on the body of Richard Oland.

He showed graphic photographs to the court as he described the injuries, one by one. Dennis Oland cast his eyes down the whole time, not looking at the images.

Naseemuddin said most of the injuries to Richard Oland’s head and to his hands were made with a sharp blade-like weapon and in some cases they penetrated the bone and the skull was fractured.

On one part of Oland’s head, nine wounds were close together and ran parallel with each other.

“They would have been made in rapid succession,” Naseemuddin said.

He said six of the injuries to Oland’s head were blunt force injuries that left a round mark.

“There was faint cross-hatching on them.”

Prosecutor Patrick Wilbur asked Naseemuddin if he could come to a conclusion about the kind of weapon used.

“I can say the injuries were inflicted using two separate surfaces,” Naseemuddin replied. 

No murder weapon was ever found.

Kevin Bissett, The Canadian Press

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