Saint John police waited more than a year to send Oland crime scene samples to lab
Published Wednesday, December 5, 2018 9:14PM AST
Last Updated Wednesday, December 5, 2018 9:21PM AST
The focus was on forensics Wednesday at the Dennis Oland murder trial.
Police described how they took samples from the crime scene and from the body of the victim as they attempted to use science in the hunt for Richard Oland's killer.
Sgt. Mark Smith was responsible for collecting the forensic evidence in the murder investigation.
One of his first tasks when he arrived on scene though, was identification.
He found a wallet on the victim, and contents including various credit and bank cards, even a Medicare card and New Brunswick Museum pass.
Looking over the victim, Smith says there were “noticeable injuries to his hands.”
Those have been described as defensive injuries, and Smith said “in an attack situation, we would be looking for any DNA samples.”
During an autopsy conducted at the Saint John Regional Hospital, the forensics officer seized several items including:
- Hair and fibres from the victim's clothing
- A blood sample from Richard Oland.
- Hair samples from the victim's scalp
- Fingernail clippings
- And hand swabs taken from the palm of Richard Oland
A Rolex watch was also removed from the body.
After the autopsy, members of the major crime unit returned to Richard Oland's office.
“Numerous electronic and data storage devices were seized along with a swab from the center of the main blood pool,” Smith told the court.
That swab would later be compared with other samples taken during the investigation.
The court was told Wednesday that many of those samples that were taken from the crime scene, and taken from Oland's body during the autopsy, weren't sent to the lab for analysis until over a year after the crime, and didn't come back to the lab for another four months after that.
An explanation for that delay is yet to come.
Smith was coughing and visibly ill during his testimony.
In the afternoon, the judge temporarily excused him for health reasons.
The trial will continue Thursday with other witnesses.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Mike Cameron.