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Hans Reiser's wife was a "master of deception" who may still be alive and trying to "screw Hans to the wall" by making him appear guilty of murder, his attorney told an Oakland jury Thursday.
There is no proof that Nina Reiser is dead, and the couple's 8-year-old son will testify that she hugged the boy and left her estranged husband's Oakland hills home without incident the day she was last seen in September 2006, defense attorney William Du Bois said in his opening statement in Alameda County Superior Court.
Prosecutors have theorized that Hans Reiser, 43, killed his wife at the house that day. Her body has never been found.
"Hans had no opportunity to commit this crime - none," Du Bois said.
Instead, he said, his client is the victim of a woman whose family had ties to the former KGB.
Hans Reiser is "an odd person," his lawyer conceded, extremely smart and blessed with a photographic memory, yet "devoid of social skills."
"Nina is almost the opposite," Du Bois said. "Perhaps that is what attracted the two of them initially."
Having reportedly memorized the 9,000 pages of discovery, Reiser has been second-guessing everything the lawyer says in court and interrupting to the point DuBois has complained to the trial judge, according to Wired, which is doing gavel-to-gavel coverage.
The book heard DuBois tell a bailiff if Reiser was kicked out of court things would be a lot better.
The defense contends that Nina Reiser, last known to be with her estranged husband Labor Day weekend last year, faked her own death and vamoosed to her native Russia.