Sunday , March 7 2021

Richard Oland's mistress describes panicked attempts to reach him the night of his death in testimony

Dennis Oland heads to the Law Courts in Saint John, N.B., Jan. 29, 2019.

Andrew Vaughan / The Canadian Press

The woman Richard Oland was having an extramarital affair with has described the anger and then the panic she felt as she tried in vain to reach her multimillionaire lover in the hours after he was bludgeoned to death in his office.

The videotaped testimony of Diana Sedlacek, a former real estate agent in Saint John who was romantically involved with Oland for eight years, was played at the retrial of Dennis Oland on Tuesday. Oland, 50, has been charged with the second-degree murder of his father on July 6, 2011.

In the space of time between 6:44 p.m. On July 6 until late in the morning of July 7, Sedlacek told the court about the text messages she sent Richard Oland, ranging from swearing and threatening to call her husband, to pray for him.

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"Stop this f …… around and answer your damn phone," she texted on the night of July 6, at which time police believe Richard Oland was lying dead on the floor of his Saint John office, killed by repeated blows to the head.

Later the next day, after she watched Richard Oland's car being towed from her office parking lot by police, she wrote, "I love you. God be with you my love. Praying, praying. "

She said she feared he could have had a heart attack.

The prosecution is presenting Sedlacek's testimony from Dennis Oland's first trial in 2015. In agreement with Neder's defense team, video replays of several witnesses are being shown in the new trial to save time.

Oland was convicted in 2015, but the verdict was set aside on appeal in 2016 and a second trial ordered. It is being held before judge alone in the Saint John Court of Queen's Bench.

The defense did not cross-examine Sedlacek.

Prosecutors have told the court they believe Dennis Oland's anger over his father's extramarital affair may have contributed to motive in what they described as "rage killing."

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Sedlacek's numerous text messages and the responses, or lack of response, from Richard Oland are also being used by prosecutors to help establish a timeline of the final hours of multimillionaire.

There were no voice conversations between Sedlacek and Oland on July 6, 2011 – all communication between the two was through texts on their iPhones.

The messages start out happy and cozy in the early part of July 6.

"Morning Dusk on Goldn Gun," reads her note to Richard at 9:08 a.m. Sedlacek tells the court this was a "term of endearment."

"Did You find note? – re Our Trip. "

Oland and Sedlacek were planning a road trip to Portland, Me., Later that month. Most of the exchanges concern arrangements for the getaway.

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Both Sedlacek and Oland were married to others.

Her last message to Richard Oland, before his phone was turned off, was at 6:44 p.m. – a key time in the murder investigation. Dennis Oland, the last known person to have seen his father alive, would have left the office a few minutes before that 6:44 text, on his way back to his home in Rothesay.

The trial has already heard that last message to Richard Oland's cell phone pinged off at a tower in Rothesay near the Renforth wharf, where Dennis Oland had stopped on his way home to see if his children were there.

Sedlacek did not receive any responses to his messages to Richard Oland past the early evening of July 6, 2011.

Oland was 69 at the time of his death. Sedlacek described Oland, a member of the prominent Maritime beer-brewing family, as an avid skier and talked about his love of sailing.

The trial is expected to last until mid-March.

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