2 inmates accused of assaulting Dennis Oland in prison not ready to enter pleas

2 violent offenders admit punching, kicking Dennis Oland in prison

Two violent offenders charged with assaulting Dennis Oland in a New Brunswick prison last summer have had their cases adjourned for a third time without entering pleas.

Cody Alexander Muise, 27, and Aaron Marriott, 26, both appeared before Miramichi provincial court Judge Kenneth Oliver on Thursday afternoon via video conference from prison.

They are not yet ready to elect whether they want to be tried by a judge and jury or judge alone, or to enter pleas, their defence lawyers told the court.

Marriot's lawyer, Dave Paulin, asked for more time to speak with his client and Crown about the matter. 

Muise's lawyer, Simon Wood, made the same request. 

Muise and Marriott are both scheduled to be back before the court on April 27 at 1:30 p.m.

They are accused of assaulting Oland at the Atlantic Institution in Renous on July 31, while he was serving a life sentence for second-degree murder in the 2011 bludgeoning death of his father, Saint John multimillionaire Richard Oland.

No details about the alleged assault have been released, but Oland family lawyer Bill Teed told CBC News Oland, 48, never filed a complaint and played no role in the charges being laid.

Because the alleged assault occurred at a maximum security prison, the Crown is proceeding by way of indictment, rather than the lesser summary offence of assault.

Indictable assault carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.

Muise is serving a life sentence for first-degree murder in a 2010 shooting death in Spryfield, N.S.

Marriott is serving a 15-year sentence for attempted murder in connection with a shooting outside the IWK children's hospital in Halifax in 2008.

They previously appeared in court on the assault charges on Jan. 12 and Feb. 9, but their cases were adjourned at their request both times because they were seeking legal aid.

​Oland spent about 10 months in custody at an undisclosed location after a jury found him guilty in December 2015, but the the New Brunswick Court of Appeal overturned his conviction on Oct. 24 and ordered a new trial, citing an error in the trial judge's instructions to the jury.

​He was released on bail under conditions the following day, pending his new trial, which is not expected to be held until next year.

Court of Appeal Justice Marc Richard ruled Oland's presumption of innocence has been restored now that his conviction has been quashed and the public's confidence in the administration of justice would be undermined by detaining him any longer. 

The Crown has since filed an application with the Supreme Court of Canada, seeking leave to appeal Oland's conviction being overturned. The Supreme Court has not yet decided whether it will hear the matter.

Oland's defence team plans to file a cross-appeal with the country's highest court, seeking an acquittal instead of a retrial.

Atlantic Institution "accommodates all maximum-security offenders in the Atlantic region [who] cannot be managed in any other facility," according to the prison's website.