[conspire] Reiser case: five more police witnesses

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Sun Jan 20 01:30:45 PST 2008

We 2008-01-15:  Defence attorney William DuBois's cross-examination of
Oakland PD officer Eugene Guerrero, about the surveillance of Hans 
Reiser before his arrest, continued.  

DuBois:   "How many times have you surveilled Mr. Reiser?" 
Guerrero: "Seven, eight, nine times."

DuBois walked Guerrero through the details of those surveillance
sessions that started as early as five days after Nina's disappearance
-- some of them deliberately obtrusive, a style called of
suspect-tracking called "bumper locking".  The general thrust of
DuBois's questions seemed to be to suggest that Oakland PD had
over-hastily and massively committed its resources to establishing 
Hans as the murder suspect, solely because other candidates weren't

Guerrero opined that Hans deliberately hid his Honda CRX, pointing again
to Hans's "countersurveillance" -- which DuBois hotly disputed, getting
Guerrero to admit that it was in plain sight on public streets with its
proper licence plates, at all times.  DuBois also called into question
the testimony of PD Officer Shan Johnson, who'd given testimony in the
preliminary hearings that Hans had _not_ seemed to know he was being
followed, but more recently contradicted that testimony.  Again, this
seemed to be pitched at the jury, to convince them that Hans's evasive 
movements had been because he knew people were pursuing him, but didn't
know who.

Next witness was Oakland PD Officer Jim Saleda, another member of the
surveillance team.  Saleda described staking out the Exeter Drive house,
the evening of Mo 2006-09-18, hearing a radio report that Hans had
just gotten into a cab headed towards Oakland Airport, starting down the
hill to follow, and then hearing that Hans wasn't in the cab after all.  
Later that night, Saleda and Officer Mark Battle saw someone they
believed was Hans jogging down Shepherd Canyon Road, continually
glancing around, behind and to the sides.  Still later, Oakland PD
located Hans's Honda CRX, and (the following morning) towed it to an
evidence impound lot.

Next, PD Officer Leo Sanchez of the "Targeted Enforcement Task Force", 
who had watched Hans from the surveillance airplane, underlined earlier
testimony about Hans having drive his car on Mo 2006-09-18 and park it
on Monterey Blvd. after four stops along his route.

Next, criminologist (CSI) Bruce Christensen was back, reading a text
rant found on-screen on a laptop computer on Tu 2006-10-10 at Mark
McGothigan's house when Hans surrendered himself there.  The text,
apparently by Hans and entitled "Protecting the Children", was a long
screed about injustices in the family court system's (and divorce
lawyers') handling of divorce cases.  

Th 2006-10-16:  Criminologist Todd Weller was prosecution's next
witness, describing Nina's Honda Odyssey minivan when found on Fernwood
Drive:  rotting groceries, Nina's purse, two children's seats, kids'
books, an iPod Nano, Altoids, Nina's $2,100 rent cheque, and so on.
Weller said a dozen fingerprints were found, none of them Hans's.  

Weller also described results of searching Hans's Exeter Drive house on
Tu 2006-09-12, including a printed-out e-mail exchange between Hans and

Hans:  "Rory does not have asthma.  He once had an asthmatic component
in his cough.  What does that mean in more detail?  What were the
circumstances and causes of that?"

Nina:  "It means that he had wheezing once while he was sick. Dr.
Bar-Din prescribed albuterol and flovent for a week.  This episode was
two years ago and he never had any wheezing since then.  Rory is seeing
Dr. Cook, who has no concerns about asthma.  Nina."

He described a 2 cm (3/4 inch) "nice shiny red" blood stain on a pillar
just inside the house (established in pretrial testimony as coming from
both Hans and Nina).  The shiny appearance, he claimed was consistent
with new blood (and contrasted with dry, flaky blood stains inside a
bathroom cabinet), "But I just can't tell you how old it is.  "No one
has that capability.  It would just be a guess."  

DuBois:  "It could be a day, a week, or many months old?  Correct?"
Weller:  "Yes."
DuBois:  "It could have been a year?" 
Weller:  "Yes."

(A number of other items with blood spots, none of them having tested as
being from a trial-relevant party, were also listed for the court.)

Court adjourned until Tu 2008-01-22, after the MLK holiday.

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