An Oakland software developer will stand trial for his wife's murder after a judge ruled Friday there is enough evidence to go forward with the case despite the lack of a body.
Hans Reiser, 43, has been held without bail since October in the death of his 31-year-old estranged wife, Nina, in a case that has featured sordid allegations of infidelity and ties to international organized crime.
Hans Reiser's attorney has suggested Nina Reiser is alive and living in her native Russia. And the prosecution's case took another hit when the couple's 7-year-old son failed to appear in court for a second round of questioning during the preliminary hearing.
But Alameda County Superior Court Judge Julie Conger said there is enough evidence to go to trial despite her concerns about the prosecution's theory of the crime. Reiser's arraignment was scheduled for March 23.
Nina Reiser was last seen on Sept. 3, and prosecutors say her estranged husband lured her to his house while their kids were sleeping and killed her.
Bloodstains were found in Hans Reiser's car, along with trash bags, masking tape and absorbent towels.
The Reisers had been married about five years when she filed for divorce in 2004. A bitter custody battle ensued; she was granted a temporary restraining order against him later that year. But neither the no-contact order nor the divorce was ever finalized. She also took her husband back to court last year for allegedly not keeping up with child support.
After they separated, Nina Reiser dated a sadomasochist, according to testimony. And defense lawyer William Du Bois suggested she and her family had ties to a Russian spy agency and organized crime.
The judge said even if Hans Reiser isn't responsible his wife's murder, he may know who killed her.