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Crown will not appeal Dennis Oland’s murder acquittal

Public Prosecution Services will not appeal Dennis Oland’s second-degree murder acquittal in the 2011 bludgeoning death of his father, multimillionaire Richard Oland, in Saint John.

The decision, announced on Tuesday, brings an end to the legal battle that began nearly six years ago when Oland was charged.

New Brunswick Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Terrence Morrison found Oland, 51, not guilty on July 19.

He said there was “much to implicate” Oland in the brutal killing, but there were “too many missing pieces” in the Crown’s case to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

After careful review of Morrison’s 146-page decision and assessment of “policy and legal considerations,” Public Prosecution Services “has determined that there is no basis upon which the Crown can appeal the acquittal of Dennis Oland,” it said in a statement.

“Morrison’s finding of reasonable doubt related to the alibi-like evidence and the resulting acquittal in this case are unassailable by the Crown.”

Oland’s lead defence lawyer, Alan Gold, says it was the prosecution’s “only possible decision as a matter of law and quite expected.” He described Morrison’s decision as “legally impeccable.

“Perhaps now the police investigation to actually solve the case if that is possible will move forward,” he said in an emailed statement.

The body of Richard Oland, of the prominent Moosehead Breweries family, was discovered face down in a pool of blood in his uptown Saint John investment firm office on the morning of July 7, 2011.

The 69-year-old had suffered 45 sharp-and blunt-force injuries to his head, neck and hands. No weapon was ever found, and the only confirmed item that disappeared from the crime scene was the victim’s cellphone.

His son, who was the last known person to see him alive when he visited him at his office the night before, was charged with second-degree murder in November 2013.

Public Prosecution Services had until Aug. 19 to file an appeal.

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