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A local politician took the witness stand in the Hans Reiser murder trial Wednesday, offering testimony that the defendant was "stressed" and growing deeply frustrated with the divorce courts that had awarded legal custody of their children to his wife.
Prosecutors called Alameda County Supervisor Gail Steele, as Witness No. 4, to bolster their theory that the husband murdered his wife so he would not have to pay her tens of thousands of dollars in unpaid support, and to get full custody of their two young children whom her believed was not rearing them properly.
"He was stressed," said Steele, who is one of five members of the Alameda County Board of Supervisors, a body that manages the county's finances.
Jurors at times appeared bored, as did the dozen onlookers in the gallery here in Alameda County Superior Court. One juror sat with his head back, gazing at the 30-foot-high ceiling.