Reiser sentencing postponed two weeks

August 13, 2008 9:07:17 PM PDT
The sentencing for computer programmer Hans Reiser in connection with his first-degree murder conviction for killing his wife, Russian immigrant Nina Reiser, was postponed today for two weeks.

Reiser, 44, was scheduled to be sentenced by Alameda County Superior Court Judge Larry Goodman today, but court officials said his hearing was put off until Aug. 29 because discussions are continuing about a possible deal to reduce his conviction to second-degree murder in exchange for his agreement last month to show authorities where he buried Nina's body after she disappeared on Sept. 3, 2006.

There was no hearing on the record today, but Reiser was brought into Goodman's courtroom briefly today so that he could speak with his attorneys, William DuBois and Richard Tamor.

Dressed in a red jail jumpsuit and appearing disheveled, with his hair unkempt and his face unshaven, Reiser engaged in an animated conversation with DuBois and seemed to be second-guessing the defense's strategy in his highly-publicized case.

DuBois shook his head in apparent frustration when he stood up and left the courtroom after talking with Reiser, who was convicted on April 28 at the end of a trial that lasted nearly six months.

First-degree murder carries a term of 25 years to life, but if Reiser's conviction is reduced to second-degree murder he could serve 15 years to life.

Hans Reiser, who was born in Oakland and was admitted to the University of California, Berkeley, at the age of 16, met Nina in Russia, where she was born and was trained as a physician and where he often spent time doing business for his computer file system company.

In 1999 they moved to Oakland and got married, but she filed for divorce and separated from him in 2004. Although Nina was awarded legal custody of their two children, Hans had visitation rights.

Nina was last seen alive on Sept. 3, 2006, when she dropped off their children at the house in the Oakland hills that Hans shared with his mother.

On July 7, Reiser led authorities to a remote spot near his house where he buried Nina's body and her remains were positively identified the next day.


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