The murder trial of Dennis Oland focused today on the investigation of St. John's about his father's missing cell phone.
Leading researcher Const. Steven Davidson testified to a series of test calls from various locations between St. John's and Rotzay via iPhone 4 similar to that of the victim, Red Oland.
The police wanted to see which cell towers had taken the signals – a subject that the crown had continued to investigate as recently as February 2018, the court heard.
The last media received by the victim's iPhone was a text message sent by his mistress at 6:44. On July 6, 2011.
He leapt out of the Brugesay cell tower near Renforth Pier where Dennis Oland told the police that he had stopped on his way home from a visit to his father's office in St. John's that night when he was the last person to know him alive.
The body of the 69-year-old was discovered in his office the next morning, his face drawn in a pool of blood. He suffered 45 sharp and sharp injuries in his head, neck, and hands.
The iPhone was the only thing missing in the multi-millionaire's office at 52 Canterbury Street, while important items, such as the Rolex watch, wallet, and keys to his BMW parked outside, were intact.
Before he was killed, the phone was connected to a tower next to his office, the court heard.
A radio frequency engineer will testify that mobile devices usually connect to the tower that provides the strongest signal, which is generally the closest, said Crown Prosecutor Glynney during the opening remarks at the beginning of the trial.
Davidson told the court he conducted the test calls for four days in March 2012, starting in the uptown area. He called 59 random places.
All the calls had successfully called a landline phone in a locked room at the police station, he said.
He also conducted inspection calls at the Cranforth Pier, he said. 15 of the 20 calls were recorded by Rogers, he said.
The second call did not pass, there was no signal, Davidson said. The fourth call failed and the fifth was not a clear ringing, just "blurred noise," he said.
The network has also changed from Rogers 3G to Rogers E while it was there, Davidson said, referring to his comments.
To date, no evidence has been presented as to the significance of this or to any cell towers.
During Oland's first trial in 2015, his defense attorneys argued that cell tower prediction models are based on a cell phone being at a height of 1.5 meters – the equivalent of a person standing in the street with a phone holding.
If the victim's cell phone was in his office on the second floor when the last text was accepted, this basic assumption would not apply, they assumed.
Oland, 50, tried again for second-degree murder with the death of his father after the Court of Appeals overturned the December 2015 conviction in October 2016 and ordered a new trial, alleging a mistake in teaching the trial judge to the jury.
Davidson testified last Wednesday about a few more tests he did in March 2012 to see how the iPhone 4 responded to calls when it was running, in sleep mode and turned on. He did the continuous calls at Renford via another cell phone.
When the iPhone was turned on, it rang four times before going to voicemail when he was asleep. He showed the incoming call on the screen and had four rings before they went out to voicemail. said.
The court also heard about some emails between Davidson and the tower's cell specialist, radio frequency engineer Joseph Sedon, earlier this year.
Davidson said that Sadeon had asked him to take pictures of certain towers. He took a little on January 26 and a little more on February 15, he said.
The photographs were taken into evidence, but have not yet been explained.
The trial is scheduled to resume on Thursday at 9:30 am with the continued testimony and cross-examination of Davidson.
Davidson joined only the big crime unit in St. John's three days before the victim's body was discovered, the court heard on Tuesday.
He was still setting up his new desk when he sent him to the conversation, which came with a description of an unconscious, non-breathing man, he said.
Davidson testified that he had entered the bloody office with Const. Tony Gilbert, who is about three feet away, or about three meters, of the body, close enough to see the significant trauma to the victim's head before he steps back.
He also opened the door and opened a door in the foyer on the second floor outside the office because "wanted to see where she was leading," he said.
The door had never been inspected for evidence, such as fingerprints or DNA contact, because it was contaminated, testified the head of the forensics unit.
The defense claimed that the door was the preferred exit route of the "killer or murderers" because it led to a back alley.
Davidson said he had informed the victim's family in the afternoon. The family members were attentive but "not overly emotional," he said.
Dennis Allend's wife, Lisa, was the only one who was worried, he said.
That evening, Davidson interviewed Dennis Oland, initially as a witness who could have useful information for the investigation. At the end of the interview, Allend was considered a possible suspect, he said.