REISER WINDS DOWN – Part 1.0, the Morning Session
Today, Bill DuBois showed a video of the Exeter house that was taken by an investigator about six weeks ago. Then Hans’ mother returned to the stand to fill some gaps in her earlier testimony. Before she left to attend the “Burning Man” festival in Nevada she had directed her “slob” of a son to clean up the house and both cars. She added that the driveway had a “permanent coat of leaves”, but she stopped short to saying she had asked Hans to hose down the driveway.
Then Hans resumed the stand, trying the patience of both DuBois and the judge with his long winded, frequently off-topic answers. Before the noon break, Hans had managed to tell the jury that in a deposition related to the divorce, it had come out that Nina and Han’s colleague (also Nina’s one-time paramour) Sean Sturgeon had commingled funds. This, according to Hans, meant that Nina had perjured herself when she signed a divorce related document claiming that she had no bank accounts.
In other testimony, Hans denied knowing the Fernwood Drive area where Nina’s van was found.
Then the subject of the hard drives came up. Had they been altered before Hans gave them to DuBois? Reiser appeared to temporize by saying that was for an expert to answer. Hans claims that he got rid of the hard drives because of an earlier 2003 federal investigation that required him to fill out forms he neglected to fill out.
The subject then turned to Hans’ (alleged) tendency to provoke “social attacks”. Hans: “Part of it is I conduct myself in a way that people interpret or mean that I’m egoistical…” His answer went on for some time. Finally:
DuBois: Did you kill Nina Reiser?
DuBois: Did you carry any body to any location?
Hans: No, I did not. And that’s how I know you can’t rebut the evidence — the testimony. There will be no rebuttal evidence. That’s how I know.
DuBois: How do you know that R…’s dream of you carrying a package with Nina in it down the stairs on Sept. 3 is false?
Hans: Because R…. would never be afraid of me carrying anything down the stairs. And in one of the versions he describes ‘shaking with fear.’
DuBois: Did you carry anything down the stairs at all?
Hans: Down the stairs? No. I don’t think I carried anything down the stairs. I didn’t carry anything down the stairs on the 3rd — macaroni and cheese?
HOW IT LOOKED AT THE NOON BREAK
Nothing unexpected or otherwise dramatic here, except the echo in Hans’ testimony of a conversation with his lawyers. When Hans says, No, I did not [kill Nina/carry any body]. And that’s how I know you can’t rebut the evidence — the testimony. There will be no rebuttall evidence. That’s how I know,” Hans is revealing an earlier session when he was warned by his lawyers about saying things that open him up to rebuttal.
Does Hans reference to the hard drives suggest anything? If the contents are innocuous, then DuBois wants to close the “but Hans altered them” door. Note all Hans reportedly said on the hard drive alteration point in the morning session was, in effect – “Get an expert.” We’re getting used to making allowances for Hans’s interesting word choices, but I think his non-answer was very close to a “catch me if you can” challenge to the DA.
REISER WINDS DOWN – Part 1.5
Direct Examination Concludes After Lunch
Reiser attempted to explain his “inappropriate tone” in an otherwise unspecified e-mail to Nina by pointing out that in a prior e-mail Nina had insulted Hans’ intelligence and education.
Comment: Was this a threatening e-mail like the one so far excluded by the court, perhaps something on the hard drive? To raise the explanation preemptively, DuBois must have something in mind that Hans had not previously been able to address. We should see, soon enough.
After amplifying his anti-government ethos by a reference to his “don’t look in my trunk without a warrant” bumper-sticker, Hans described two camping trips with Nina, one in Yellowstone Park (clearly antedating the couple’s separation by some appreciable time) when his wife was menstruating. Hans implied, but (as far as reported) did not directly assert, that the sleeping bag cover with Nina’s blood on it was taken on that same trip.
DuBois then turned the witness over to Hora.