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Small Thin Man in Neighborhood at Time of Couple’s Murder Probably Did Not Have Size 13 Feet

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Feb/24/2011

The prosecutor in the murder trial of poker player Ernest Scherer III may have discounted the possibility that a “suspicious” small thin man was responsible for killing both his parents.

Ernest Scherer Jr. and Charlene Abendroth were found brutally beaten and stabbed to death in their Castlewood Community home in Alameda County, California in March 2008. 

Prosecutor Michael Nieto contends that the younger Scherer killed his parents in order to obtain a more-than-one-million-dollar inheritance, even going as far as to stage a home invasion. 

After plenty of testimony in recent weeks pointing to Scherer III’s odd behavior around the time of the murders, his infidelity, violent temperament and an apparent linking of his Camaro to the crime scene, the defense took control this week. 

So far, they have brought forth two rather weak witnesses, one who dated the defendant at the time his parents were murdered. 

Arisa Kim attended a trapeze class together and testified she did not see any unusual cuts or bruises on either his arms or legs during the period he is alleged to have killed his parents.

Another witness’s testimony was all but shot down by Nieto. 

Neighbor Kaveh Gooyandeh described a “suspicious” small thin man selling meat from a truck with a mounted freezer the very day authorities believe Ernest Jr. and Charlene were murdered.   Gooyandeh noted that the man appeared to be casing his garage. 

But Nieto was quick to ask the defense witness if the small man had particularly large feet, alluding to the bloody size 13 sneaker prints found at the crime scene.

Another individual who regularly played high stakes poker with the elder Scherer was also among those who testified this week.

Hermann Welm stated that Scherer Jr. would regularly carry large sums of money.  He also appeared to be proud of his son, Welm testified. 

Welm was also heard in a taped conversation saying that Scherer Jr. was a “controversial figure” and “hated by the school board” presumably for his political activism.  On cross-examination, Welm noted that the couple’s home was “hard to find” and the murderer had to be “somebody who knows where he lived."

Another witness suggested that the elder Scherer, like his son, had some financial problems, though this testimony appeared to be discounted after the poker playing witness admitted Scherer, Jr. paid the stakes for him to enter a poker tournament, lending him $100,000.

- Christopher Costigan, Gambling911.com Publisher

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