SAINT JOHN, N.B. — Richard Oland’s killer would have walked away from the gory crime scene spattered with the well-known businessman’s blood, a police officer told a murder trial in New Brunswick on Monday.
Const. Duane Squires of the Saint John Police Force said he got a call at 8:52 a.m. on July 7, 2011, to go to 52 Canterbury St. He testified that when he arrived, he noticed a distinctive smell in the offices of the Far End Corp.
“One that I am familiar with,” he added. “The smell of a decaying body.”
Oland’s 46-year-old son Dennis has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder.
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 next to his desk, wearing a dark blue suit, his head and upper body in a pool of blood.
Oland family members didn’t leave the courtroom, but some averted their eyes when the more gruesome images were shown.
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.
Under cross-examination, Squires told defence attorney Alan Gold that Oland had clearly been bleeding from the head.
“You would expect that whoever did this would have blood on them,” said Gold.
Squires replied: “Yes.”
“This was up front and close with blood flying through the air,” Gold asserted.
Paramedics left after less than a minute in the office as well, Squires said, telling police officers that rigor mortis had set in and the man had been dead for some time.
Squires was responsible for securing the crime scene and logging whenever anyone entered or left the Far End office until late afternoon on the day the body was discovered.
Squires told Gold he didn’t check a nearby exit door that led to an alleyway behind the building and didn’t recall seeing any other officers check to see if the door was locked or look outside the alleyway.
Gold said he was surprised it had not been checked, asserting that it seemed the nearest and best exit for a killer, rather than going out the front door to a busy street.
Earlier Monday, a man who was among the first to arrive after Oland’s body was found testified that the first thing he noticed was a “nauseating” smell.
Preston Chiasson was at Printing Plus below Richard Oland’s office when the victim’s secretary, Maureen Adamson, came into the shop looking for help.
Asked by Crown attorney P.J. Veniot what he saw when he went further in the office, Chiasson replied: “Richard on the floor, slaughtered.”
Chiasson said he was trained in first aid and knew there was nothing he could do.
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, as well as six defensive wounds to his hands.
The final witness Monday was Const. Stan Miller, who was the acting sergeant on the morning of July 7, 2011.
He said he attended the scene until another senior officer took charge. He said there were pizza boxes in the garbage can at the Far End office and he was instructed to go to the Pizza Hut in nearby Brunswick Square mall to seen any security video from the previous day.
Miller said he also acquired security video from Thandi’s restaurant on Canterbury Street and canvassed other businesses in the area for security video.
The trial takes a two-day break but resumes with the next Crown witness on Thursday.
Kevin Bissett, The Canadian Press