Anyway, after Reiser’s testimony the judge decided that the jury can consider voluntary manslaughter, which carries a maximum 11-year sentence for a heat-of-passion killing, as well as first-degree murder, good for 25 years to life, and second-degree murder, which means 15 years to life.
The prosecution argued against it but Reiser’s lawyer, arguing for it, asked the judge to assume his client pushed his wife down the stairs, according to Wired, which has been following the case “gavel-to-gavel.”
The judge reportedly responded that if that was true, “Reiser exhibited a ‘disregard for human life’ by not getting immediate medical treatment for the mother of his two children.”
This exchange like the rest of the instructions debate went on out of earshot of the jury.
There is one more witness to go, a forensic specialist who is supposed to testify about what’s on the two disk drives Reiser, a Linux file system expert, hid from the police. He supposedly gave them to his lawyer, who didn’t turn them over to authorities until recently.