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Reiser sentenced to 15 years-to-life as part of deal

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Hans Reiser was sentenced today to 15-years-to life for the murder of his estranged wife Nina Reiser two years ago. The sentence handed down in Alameda County Superior Court follows a deal Reiser made to lead authorities to the location of his wife's body in the Oakland Hills last month.

Along with turning over the body to authorities, Reiser had to waive his appeal rights, before the court would sign off on any deal. It also is believed Reiser had to tell police exactly what occurred on the day his wife died.

Last week, Reiser gave a statement in closed court, lasting more than an hour, which may have been a detailed account of how he killed his wife. After another closed court session this past Monday — where Reiser once again attempted to fire his attorney, William Du Bois — both the prosecution and defense were mum on what had been discussed in court the previous week.

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Goodman told Reiser matter-of-factly that if Reiser wasn't happy with the deal, then there would be no plea agreement. But finally Reiser agreed to plead to second-degree murder, and the judge accepted his plea.

Reiser's hands were shackled to his waist as he apologized for depriving Anthony Zografos, Irina Sharanova and Nina's friends of a life with her. "Every human life is sacred, and I took her life. I'm very sorry for that. I don't think I'll ever be able to make up to society what I've done. But I'll try to the extent that I can."

Hans Reiser Case; Aug. 29, 2008


Underscoring how much the defendant thought he could pull one over on the jury, it's since emerged that the defendant initially rejected a three-year prison offer in exchange for producing Nina's body, and opted instead for trial.

Hans Reiser Faces the Music Friday

Reiser strangled wife over 'cavalier' remark Reiser snapped after Nina Reiser breezily told him she intended to keep taking the couple's young son and daughter to doctors' appointments because she already had full legal custody, his attorney, William Du Bois, said outside Alameda County Superior Court in Oakland.

He punched her in the mouth, then choked her with his hands on Sept. 3, 2006, in the Oakland hills home he shared with his mother, Du Bois said. It was a move he had honed through years of practicing judo, the attorney said.

"And this is the kind of choke that people who have no martial skills at all would employ and, um, and yet it uh, uh, was completely painless for her," he said. "It's the least painful way to die."

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