Jury awards $60 million to programmer's children

By the Associated Press | July 17, 2012 | 4:36 PM EDT

HAYWARD, Calif. (AP) — A Northern California jury has ordered a noted computer programmer to pay his children $60 million for killing their mother.

The Alameda County jury delivered its verdict Tuesday in the wrongful death lawsuit filed against Hans Reiser by his children, 12-year-old Rory and 11-year-old Niorline.

Reiser was earlier sentenced to 15-years-to-life for the 2006 murder of his wife and the children's mother, Nina Reiser. He represented himself during the four-day wrongful death trial, arguing that he killed Nina because she was making up illnesses for the children. The children live with Nina's mother in her native Russia and didn't attend the trial.

It's not clear if they will be able to collect any money. Reiser claimed during the civil suit that he was representing himself because he couldn't afford an attorney.