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Defense Lawyer Attacks DNA Evidence in Hans Reiser Case

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The defense lawyer for Oakland computer programmer Hans Reiser tried to raise doubts today about DNA evidence that prosecutors believe connects him to the death of his wife Nina Reiser, who was last seen alive Sept. 3.

In the fifth day of a preliminary hearing that will determine whether Hans Reiser should stand trial on murder charges, defense attorney William DuBois questioned Oakland police DNA expert Shannon Cavness at length about the reliability of the DNA evidence in the case.

Under questioning by prosecutor Greg Dolge on Wednesday, Cavness testified that blood on a pillar at Hans Reiser's home and blood on a sleeping bag stuff sack found in his car almost certainly is that of Nina Reiser.

Cavness said the chances of the blood being from someone other than Nina Reiser are less than 1 in 45 trillion.

But in an interview after court adjourned today, DuBois said that although DNA evidence makes some cases "a slam dunk" for prosecutors, in Hans Reiser's case he thinks it's more like "reading tea leaves" because he doesn't think it proves much.

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