SAINT JOHN, N.B. — For the second time in his life, Dennis Oland has stood before a New Brunswick judge and declared he is not guilty of the second-degree murder of his father, Richard Oland.
The 50-year-old Oland entered his plea on Monday as jury selection began in a courtroom set up on a covered ice sheet in Saint John's largest hockey arena.
It was the first day in what promises to be a lengthy retrial of the soft-spoken investment adviser, who is accused of beating his multi-millionaire father to death in 2011.
The verdict in Oland's 2015 jury trial was set aside on appeal in 2016 and the new trial ordered.
As with the first trial, a large number of people in the Saint John area received summonses to appear at the Harbour Station arena on Monday.
Just over 1,000 filled seats in the area of the arena around the temporary courtroom.
Above them hung banners declaring conquests by the local teams, the Flames and Sea Dogs. Oland, teams of lawyers, court officials and Justice Terrence Morrison of the Court of Queen's Bench were seated behind tables on the floor of the arena.
"I plead not guilty," Oland said in a firm voice after the charge was read to him.
Jury selection only began on Monday. There now will be a two-week delay for legal purposes and then the process will resume at the local law courts.
The potential jurors were divided into groups of 50 and will appear at court as their group is called for individual juror selection. No jurors were chosen on Monday.
Morrison said 14 jurors and two alternates will be picked for a trial that could last 65 days or longer.
"You must be patient," Morrison told the group, acknowledging that some found the process "frustrating."
"You must all appreciate that this is a very serious business."
Richard Oland was 69 when he was killed on July 6, 2011, in his office in uptown Saint John.
His bludgeoned body was found the next morning lying face down in a pool of blood.
He was a member of the family that owns Moosehead, Canada's oldest independent brewery, and a prominent businessman.
Dennis Oland arrived early at Harbour Station and was accompanied by his wife, Lisa, and his mother, Connie.
There will be changes to his defence team for the second trial.
Veteran New Brunswick criminal defence lawyer Gary Miller, 70, is stepping aside to let "new eyes" work on the case. Those new eyes belong to Toronto lawyer Michael Lacy.
Alan Gold, also based in Toronto, will continue on the Oland defence team.
Miller has said he will remain active in the background of the Oland defence, serving as a consultant when needed.
Chris Morris, The Canadian Press