Reiser not emotional enough to commit murder,
according to defense testimony

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Published on February 26, 2008 with No Comments

Hans Reiser
Police photo

By Jeff Shuttleworth

February 25, 2008

A longtime friend of Oakland computer engineer Hans Reiser said today that Reiser is less emotional than most people.

Defense lawyer William DuBois called Cimarron Taylor to the witness stand in an apparent attempt to indicate that Reiser, 44, wouldn’t have been emotional enough to murder his estranged wife Nina, who disappeared on Sept. 3, 2006.

Taylor, who said he met Reiser in 1985 when they both were members of a computer club at the University of California, Berkeley, said, “Hans could rationally approach many things that confronted him without showing distress.”

Taylor said, “I think he’s less emotional compared to others.”

Nina Reiser, who was 31 at the time, was last seen alive on Sept. 3, 2006, when she dropped off the couple’s two children off at the home at 6979 Exeter Drive in the Oakland hills where Hans Reiser lived with his mother. The couple had been separated for two years and was in the midst of a bitter divorce case and a battle over custody of their two children.

Nina was awarded legal custody of the children but Hans was allowed to have them several days a week.

The body of Nina Reiser, who was born in Russia and was trained as a physician there before coming to the U.S. in 1999 to marry Hans Reiser, has never been found, despite extensive searches in the Oakland hills and elsewhere. But Hans Reiser was charged with murdering her because prosecutors believe that DNA and blood evidence proves that he killed her.

He has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him. DuBois has said that he thinks Nina Reiser may still be alive and be in hiding in Russia.

Taylor said he encouraged Hans Reiser to license the software that his company, Namesys Inc., made so that he could make more money, but Reiser chose not to do so.

Asked by prosecutor Paul Hora if Reiser, who now claims he suffers from financial problems and is asking for taxpayer help pay for his legal fees, was “motivated more by his ego” in deciding against licensing his software to other companies, Taylor partially agreed.

He said, “Part of ego is to do things that want you want. There’s some ego involved.”

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