Linux Guru Reiser Seeks New Murder Trial


Defense attorney William DuBois and Hans Reiser confer during Reiser’s murder trial.

Sketch: Norman Quebedeau

Hans Reiser wants a trial do-over.

Reiser is the Linux guru who in April was
convictedof the first-degree murder of his estranged wife. He’s the same defendant who, in exchange for a 15-to-life term instead of a 25-to-life term,
broughtauthorities to the Oakland hills where he buried
Nina Reiser’s body.

He even
apologizedfor killing her.

But in a handwritten appellate motion, he is appealing his conviction. Yet there’s a glaring problem with this appeal, in which he claims he thought the deal would have only sent him away for three years, not 15-to-life.

When he took the 15-to-life deal in August, he waived his right to appeal. And when entering the deal, he said he understood what he was doing and was represented by effective counsel. The appeal was first reported by the

San Francisco Chronicle.

Perhaps Reiser is a little peeved that he
turned down a pretrial deal last year with Alameda County Superior Court Judge Larry Goodman, in which the developer of the ReiserFS file system was offered three years if he pleaded guilty and disclosed where he hid 31-year-old Nina Reiser’s body.

But the boyhood genius thought he could outsmart the jury, which grew tired of his hours on the witness stand attempting to explain away a myriad of coincidences linking him to his wife’s murder -??? days of testimony his attorney said was against his advice.

Now the 44-year-old Reiser says he thinks the latest deal was supposed to have netted three years. And he said his lead attorney, William DuBois, who he often
butted headswith during trial, was out to get him.

wrote(.pdf) that he believed DuBois suffered from an excess of

Persons with oxytocin excess enjoy betraying others, Reiser wrote.

Reiser added, I believe that the attraction of duping and betraying me exceeded the attraction of duping and betraying a jury, due to my unique personal characteristics.

Reiser demands that DuBois’ oxytocin levels be tested, and that if they are high, the courts should determine that Reiser was a victim of ineffective assistance of counsel and be granted a new trial.

DuBois was not immediately available for comment. Trial judge Larry Goodman
denied(.pdf) Reiser’s handwritten motion, which wasn’t even made to a California appellate court.

Reiser called his lawyer delusional and claimed he picked jurors based on Chinese astrology. It is a logical necessity that either I am delusional, or he is delusional.

Threat Level covered the trial gavel to gavel for six months and
knows the answerto that question.

The convict is also demanding a polygraph test to prove my counsel colluded with agents of the State of California to perpetuate numerous other frauds relating to the case.

Here’s a short synopsis of Reiser’s courtroom defense, the
geek defense.

*He told jurors his
31-year-old wife, whom he met in Russia,
fled the United Statesand abandoned the divorcing couple’s two young children after he accused her of bilking his Namesys software company. Her blood was found in her house, where she was last seen, because she either cut her finger cooking or had a
bloody nose, he testified.

*The passenger seat of his car went missing because he threw it away. That tiny Honda CRX was filled with water when the authorities discovered it weeks after Nina went missing Sept. 3, 2006 because it was dirty and needing a good washing.

He was a computer geek, a scientist,
he told jurors, and his guilt-ridden behavior in the aftermath of his wife’s disappearance was a result of staring at a computer for too long.

Jurors, and even the
judge, did a horrible job concealing their amusement when Reiser was on the stand. They often shook their heads in disbelief or openly mocked his ongoing testimony.

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