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Reiser jurors quizzed on feelings about murder case with no body

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Attorneys asked prospective Alameda County jurors in the murder trial of computer programmer Hans Reiser today whether they were comfortable hearing a circumstantial-evidence case in which the body of Reiser's alleged victim - his wife - has never been found.

Deputy District Attorney Paul Hora and defense attorney William Du Bois took turns questioning prospective jurors about whether they could be objective about the case, given that Nina Reiser hasn't been seen since disappearing last September.

Hans Reiser, 43, who is well known in computer-programming circles as the creator of the ReiserFS file system, has pleaded not guilty to killing his estranged wife, who was 31 when she vanished a year ago.

"This case is a little bit different than other cases," Hora told five women and two men sitting in the Oakland courtroom of Superior Court Judge Larry Goodman. Usually, there's a body, an autopsy and a cause of death, but not so in this case, Hora noted.

Du Bois told prospective jurors that he would argue for acquittal because "there is no direct evidence of a homicide, let alone that there even was a homicide."

One man made it clear today that he didn't want to be on the panel.

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