Hans Reiser leads police to wife's remains

July 8, 2008 4:13:05 PM PDT
Authorities believe they have removed Nina Reiser's remains from Redwood Regional Park, east of Skyline Boulevard.

ABC7 spoke with the office of Reiser's attorney, William Dubois. They confirmed that Dubois and Reiser accompanied police into the park Monday afternoon. ABC News reports Reiser led them to his wife's remains.

The body was found in a bag, buried deep in a ravine. The bag was well concealed and could have been easily overlooked. Authorities had a forensic anthropologist on scene to help recover the body.

Present at the scene were Judge Goodman, members of the district attorney's office, Oakland police and Alameda sheriffs. Security was tight and Hans Resier's attorney, William Dubois, told ABC7 that he was handcuffed to Reiser. Also present at the gravesite was defense attorney Richard Tamor.

"I can say he was pensive, he was thoughtful - he has completely changed his attitude and approach to the things that are happening to him. There's certainly a component now of not being selfish and it is a component about leaving something for his children that hasn't been there before," said Tamor.

Sources tell ABC News that a deal was struck with Reiser that would reduce his conviction from first-degree murder to second-degree murder. The lesser charge means Reiser could receive a sentence of 15 years to life, instead of the previous 25 years to life. Reiser's sentencing has been postponed until forensic verification of the remains can be confirmed.

"That's the biggest crock I've heard in my life. He wants to lessen his sentence. It just doesn't seem fair to me that a person can do that," said Vince Dunn, Reiser juror.

Vince Dunn was juror number 7 on the Reiser jury. He says if the first-degree conviction became second-degree, because Reiser showed police where to find the body - that's akin to blackmail.

"For six months we heard the defense lie to the jury and say in effect that Nina had left the country and she was an unfit mother, she was a gold digger and that she didn't care about her family," said Vince Dunn, Reiser juror.

One important fact emerged during the trial when one of the Reiser children testified that he saw his father carry a bag down the stairs. The boy said could have been his mother's body.

Back in April, a jury convicted the 44-year-old computer engineer of murder, even though his wife's body had never been found. A jury of five women and seven men reached their verdict after two and a half days of deliberation in a trial that lasted six months. After hearing the guilty verdict, Reiser stood up and said, "I've been the best father."

ABC7 legal analyst, Dean Johnson, says the timing of Monday's excursion into the Oakland hills, two days before Reiser's sentencing, is probably more than a coincidence. He says it's possible Reiser could get his conviction reduced from first-degree murder to second degree murder, and earn a possible 10-year reduction in his prison sentence. Nina Reiser was last seen on September 3, 2006 when she dropped the couple's two children off at Hans Reiser's Oakland home.

At the time, prosecutor Paul Hora faced the challenge of prosecuting a case without a body. The district attorney's office credited Oakland police with gathering enough evidence for them to prosecute Reiser even though a body had not been found.

A news conference is scheduled for Tuesday regarding the latest developments.

THE BACK STORY: Thoughts from a Reiser family friend

Load Comments