Prosecutor concludes opening in Reiser trial

'Single reason explains it all, and that's that this man killed her'

Linux

The prosecutor in the Hans Reiser murder trial wrapped up more than two days of opening arguments Thursday by telling jurors a mound of evidence shows the well-known Linux developer killed his wife.

"One single reason explains it all, and that's that this man killed her," said Alameda County district attorney Paul Hora as he pointed at Reiser. The 43-year-old programmer and creator of the eponymous reiserfs filesystem for Linux then turned in his seat to look at Hora, according to news reports.

Reiser, who faces a possible life sentence if convicted, has pleaded not guilty. He claims his 31-year-old wife Nina Reiser fled the country after having an affair with his best friend. No body has been found since she disappeared in early September 2006, and there are no murder weapons or eyewitnesses linking Hans Reiser to his wife's disappearance.

Among the evidence Hora said proves Hans killed his wife were traces of her blood found in his Oakland, California, house and in the Honda Civic whose front seat Hans Reiser ripped out after the woman's disappearance.

Hora also played a recording of a phone conversation Hans Reiser had with his mother 20 days after Nina Reiser's disappearance. In it they discuss the couple's messy divorce battle and the programmer goes on to complain that the courts had wrongly deprived him of legal custody over his two children.

"He offers 10 minutes of reasons why Nina is dead," Hora told the jury.

William DuBois, Hans Reiser's attorney, moved for a mistrial, arguing that the taped conversation and a separate piece of evidence admitted into the trial, were inadmissible. Alameda County Superior Court Judge Larry Goodman denied the motion.

The trial is expected to last several months. ®

Coverage is available here from Wired News and here from the San Francisco Chronicle. ®

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