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World

AFP
July 20, 2019

Scion of wealthy Canada beer family acquitted of murdering father

World

AFP
Sat, Jul 20, 2019

The scion of a wealthy Canadian beer family was acquitted Friday of murdering his father, in a retrial more than three years after a court had sentenced him to life in prison for the 2011 death.

Dennis Oland, 51, had been accused of murdering his father Richard, then 69, who was part of the family that owns Moosehead Breweries, Canada´s oldest independent brewery.

In a sensational trial that followed in New Brunswick, the younger Oland was convicted of second-degree murder in 2015 and sentenced to life behind bars in early 2016.

"I sincerely hope everybody understands that Dennis Oland is innocent. He did not kill his father," his lawyer Alan Gold told reporters after the new verdict was delivered.

Richard Oland had been found face down in a pool of blood in his offices on July 7, 2011 with dozens of stab and bludgeon wounds to the head, neck and hands.

His son was the last person to have seen him alive the day before, police said.

The original verdict against Dennis Oland was overturned because of procedural irregularities. The retrial, in front of a judge rather than a jury, lasted four months.

Judge Terrence Morrison said there was insufficient evidence to convict the multimillionaire´s son.

Prosecutors had pointed to the younger Oland´s financial problems, suggesting that he had grown violent when his father refused a demand for money.

They also argued that a brown jacket belonging to Dennis Oland bore small blood splatters and traces of DNA that experts said almost surely came from his father.

Police will now have to re-open the case into who did kill Richard Oland.

"A day to celebrate will be when the actual perpetrators of this crime are finally caught and brought to justice," Gold said.