Nina Reiser's mother to be last witness

February 11, 2008 4:05:40 PM PST
The prosecutor in Hans Reiser's lengthy trial on charges that he murdered his estranged wife Nina is saving his most dramatic witness for last: Nina's mother.

Irina Sharanova, fresh from a plane trip from her home in St. Petersburg, Russia, where she has custody of the Reisers' two children, will take the witness stand in Hans Reiser's trial later today.

Alameda County Superior Court Judge Larry Goodman told jurors that today is the 33rd day of the trial, which began on Nov. 6.

Goodman said that after Sharanova's finishes testifying, Reiser's attorney, William DuBois, will begin presenting the defense's case either Wednesday afternoon or Thursday morning.

Prosecutor Paul Hora began today by eliciting testimony from his inspector, Bruce Brock, about numerous details in the case, such as the distance between Hans and Nina's homes and about siphon pumps, cleaning fluids and cleaning towels Hans bought shortly after Nina was last seen alive.

Nina Reiser, who was 31 at the time, disappeared on Sept. 3, 2006, after she dropped off the couple's children at Hans Reiser's home at 6979 Exeter Drive in the Oakland hills.

Her body has never been found, despite extensive searches in the Oakland hills and elsewhere, but Hans Reiser, a 44-year-old computer engineer, was charged with murdering her because prosecutors believe that DNA and blood evidence proves that he killed her.

Hans and Nina Reiser married in 1999 but Nina filed for divorce and separated from him in 2004. They were in the midst of an acrimonious divorce and a battle over the custody of their two children when she disappeared.

Hans Reiser has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him. DuBois, his attorney, has said he thinks that Nina Reiser may still be alive and be in hiding in Russia, where she was raised and where she was trained as a physician.