Hans Reiser has been on the witness stand all day. There really is little of note to report – at least little that will affect the outcome of this case..

This afternoon, Hans Reiser admitted too being – his own words — “a patronizing asshole”. And, as to his martial arts training, he opined as follows: Being a Black Belt in judo “makes you a calmer, more level-headed person.” I imagine at least one juror adding, “until Nina pushes your button.”

The entire rest of his testimony – once again aptly summarized by the Chronicle’s Charles Lee – is available on line at http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/localnews/category?blogid=37&cat=1428 .

The expected DNA expert did not testify today.

I believe that the defense is marking time here, doing no harm to the defense case, but little else, trying to run out the clock until the onset of Judge Goodman’s vacation next week.

The trial will not resume until Monday March 17.

Why do I say that the defense is running out the clock? The prosecution needs to catch Hans Reiser in a material misstatement. This requires that someone – obviously that would be Paul Hora – press Hans for details about why and what he did with key items of evidence in the case, notably the hard drive and the car seat among other things. In a perfect day for the prosecution, that would have taken place today, giving the DA’s inspectors a full week to check out Hans’ story and come back with rebuttal evidence. But it wasn’t a perfect day for the prosecution because, for now, the defense controls the flow of evidence in the courtroom.

Hans’ day ended in tears over the way he has been treated by the authorities, followed by a series of explanations about why he evaded the authorities, why he bought police procedural books at Barnes and Noble and so on. Not to be too cynical here, but obviously a lot more thought has gone into Hans’ testimony than into his earlier conduct. As to the prospect of the books’ discovery – “I figured if I was innocent, it wouldn’t really matter.” Again, was this accidental syntax or unintentional revelation? Most people already know if they are ‘innocent’.

But the defense does not control the flow of information to the press. Today, Judge Goodman issued a so called ‘gag order’ that in effect prevents both sides from talking to reporters, but in reality is aimed at Bill DuBois who has been chafing under the court’s restrictions relating to Nina’s weird ex-boyfriend, Sean Sturgeon. Whatever dirt on Nina and Sean that has been excluded for evidence will surface later if Hans is convicted as an issue on appeal.

Tomorrow, I will post a “Guide to Following the Reiser Trial” that should place all these trial events in the appropriate context.

Stay tuned…


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