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Poker Pro Arrested in Murder of Parents

Written by:
Thomas Somach
Published on:
Feb/26/2009
Ernest Scherer

A professional poker player suspected of killing his mother and poker pro father last year in California has been arrested and charged in the slayings.

According to media reports, police on Tuesday arrested Ernest Scherer III, 30, of Brea, California, USA, in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, and charged him in the murders of his parents, Ernest Scherer Jr., 60, and Charlene Abendroth, 57.

The slain couple were found dead on March 14, 2008, in their home in Pleasanton, California, USA, near San Francisco, California, USA, bloodied and beaten. =A0 Police said Tuesday that the younger Scherer is a compulsive gambler who is deep in debt and killed his parents in order to receive an expected hefty inheritance.

The accused double-killer had borrowed $616,000 from his parents to buy a condominium in Brea and the parents had been seeking repayment, police said.

In addition, the accused, who lacks a steady income, has over $40,000 in credit card debt and failed to pay property taxes and mortgage payments, police said.

The murder suspect is being held in Clark County Detention Center in Las Vegas without bail and awaits extradition to California, police said.

He was charged with two counts of murder with special circumstances and two counts of murder for financial gain, and if convicted, could face the death penalty, police said.

PokerHelper.com played a key role in solving the murder.

After the killings occurred, media reported them and also the fact that one of the victims was a poker pro.

PokerHelper.com, however, broke the story that the son of the murdered couple was also a poker pro and had earned hundereds of thousands of dollars playing tournament poker.

Other media, including the gambling news website Gambling 911 (www.gambling911.com), then picked up PokerHelper.com's scoop and reported it.

Police investigating the murders saw the PokerHelper.com story about the murdered couple's son on Gambling 911 and contacted Gambling 911 owner Chris Costigan.

Police, who hadn't known the son was also a poker pro, urged Costigan to post a notice on his website asking anyone who is owed money by Ernest Scherer III to contact Pleasanton police, a request Costigan granted.

Police said Tuesday information they received from the public in response to that notice on Gambling 911 helped crack the case.

As for poker, the son was more successful than his dad.

According to tournament records, murder victim Ernest Scherer Jr. finished in the money in six poker tournaments in his career, winning a total of $25,108.

His biggest win came at the 2007 World Series of Poker (WSOP) in Las Vegas, where he finished in 18th place in an Omaha tourney and won $7,775.

At that same WSOP, he finished in 47th place in another Omaha tournament and won $3,956, and in 142nd place in a no-limit Texas hold ‘em tourney and won $3,792.

Also according to tournament records, accused double-murderer Ernest Scherer III finished in the money in 23 poker tournaments in his career, winning a total of $298,847.

Among his biggest wins was at the 2006 WSOP, where he finished in eighth place in a limit Texas hold ‘em tournament and won $34,362.

He also moneyed at two other ‘06 WSOP events.

Thomas Somach, www.pokerhelper.com

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