Oakland computer engineer Hans Reiser had a 55-hour window of opportunity to murder his estranged wife Nina and then hide her body, a prosecutor told jurors today.
In the second day of his lengthy opening statement in Reiser’s murder trial, Alameda County Deputy District Attorney Paul Hora said videotapes and receipts indicate that Nina Reiser, who was 31, checked out of the Berkeley Bowl grocery store in Berkeley just before 2 p.m. on Sept. 3, 2006, which was the last day she was seen alive.
Hora said phone records indicate that Nina called Hans from her cell phone at 2:04 p.m. and statements from the couple’s two children and her friends indicate that she then drove to the house at 6979 Exeter Drive in Oakland’s Montclair District where Hans Reiser shared with his mother.
Nina had custody for the first part of that weekend, which was Labor Day weekend, but was to give them to Hans around 2 p.m. on Sept. 3 so he could have them for the rest of the weekend, Hora said.
Hora said that it’s about a 20-minute drive from the Berkeley Bowl to the Exeter Drive residence, so Hans Reiser would have had from about 2:30 p.m. on Sept. 3 to 9 p.m. Sept. 5, when Nina Reiser was reported missing, to kill her and dispose of her body, Hora said.
Hora hasn’t yet explained to jurors how he thinks Hans Reiser might have killed her.
Nina Reiser’s body hasn’t been found despite extensive searches in the Oakland hills and other locations.
In October 2006 prosecutors charged Hans Reiser with murdering her after Oakland police said they found biological and trace evidence suggesting that she is dead as well as blood evidence tying him to her death. He’s being held in custody without bail.
The children, Rory, now 8, and Nio, now 6, were placed in foster care after Nina Reiser disappeared. They now live with Nina Reiser’s mother in Russia.
Hora disclosed for the first time today that Rory will return from Russia to testify at his father’s trial.
Nina Reiser, who was trained as a gynecologist in her native Russia, and Hans Reiser married in 1999 but separated in May 2004. They were undergoing contentious divorce proceedings at the time she disappeared but the divorce wasn’t finalized.
Nina Reiser was awarded both legal and physical custody of their children but Hans Reiser was allowed to have them one weeknight a week and every other weekend.
— Bay City News