Jury: Hans Reiser Liable in Wrongful Death Suit

The children sued their father and were represented pro bono by Arturo Gonzalez of Morrison & Foerster of San Francisco.

By Lisa Fernandez and Stephanie Chuang
|  Tuesday, Jul 17, 2012  |  Updated 11:56 PM PDT
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
An Alameda County jury on Tuesday found Hans Reiser liable in the wrongful death suit against him and ordered him to pay his children $60 million.

An Alameda County jury on Tuesday found Hans Reiser liable in the wrongful death suit against him and ordered him to pay his children $60 million.

Photos and Videos

Murderer Cries in Court Over Kids

Convicted for murdering his wife, Hans Reiser recently asked if it was moral to kill in a courtroom. Sued by his children in a wrongful death suit, Reiser showed some emotion at the mention of those children, from whom he's estranged.

Hans Reiser: "Could It Be Moral To Kill?"

Jury selection concluded Tuesday in the wrongful death suit filed against Hans Reiser, a man convicted in 2008 of murdering his wife and burying her body in the Oakland Hills.
More Photos and Videos

An Alameda County jury on Tuesday found Hans Reiser liable in the wrongful death suit against him and ordered him to pay his children $60 million.

That means, any proceeds the imprisoned Reiser should gain from his software projects will now go to pay toward his children. His son and daughter, ages 11 and 12, have been living in Russia after Reiser he killed his wife - their mother - and her body was found in a shallow grave in the Oakland Hills.

The children's grandmother, Irina Sharanova, sued their father and were represented pro bono by Arturo Gonzalez of Morrison & Foerster of San Francisco. Gonzalez had asked for $10 million for each child, and $5 million in punitive damages. Instead, the jury (PDF) came back with $25 million per child, and $10 million punitive.

"We're very pleased that the jury agreed with the theme of our case--Nina was a wonderful person and a great mother," said González in a statement. "Taking her life has caused immense harm to everyone who knew Nina, especially her children."

Reiser, convicted in 2008 of murdering his wife, Nina Resier, two years earlier, acted as his own lawyer in the civil trial, often rambling and crying in his prison garb before the Hayward jury. His defense essentially was that he killed his wife to protect his children from her.

The trial was brief; it began last Wednesday. And the jury came back with a verdict after about three hours of deliberation.

This civil trial follows Reisers' criminal trial, where his legal team unsuccessfully argued a completely different story: That his wife as not dead, but had abandoned her children to sneak off to Russia. He was sentenced to spend 15 years to life in prison.

 Watch Stephanie Chuang's full report at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Get the latest headlines sent to your inbox!
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
Leave Comments
Bay Area Proud
Bay Area Proud is NBC Bay... Read more
Follow Us
Sign up to receive news and updates that matter to you.
Send Us Your Story Tips
Check Out