Breaking News: Poker Player Ernest Scherer III Found Guilty in Murder of Mom, Dad

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Ernest Scherer Verdict Guilty

It only took less than two days but a jury has found poker player Ernest Scherer III guilty on all counts of killing his parents Ernest Scherer Jr., 60, and Charlene Abendroth, 57, in their Castlewood Country Club (California) home in March 2008. 

The jury arrived at its decision early Monday afternoon in a courthouse outside San Jose, California.

Deliberations began on Friday following closing arguments that concluded on Thursday.

The motive behind the murders was said to be a $1 million plus inheritance Scherer III hoped to gain in order to pay off steep gambling debts.

Evidence hinged heavily on a vehicle that appeared on surveillance video the apparent night of the murder that closely matched the description of Scherer III’s car.

Immediately following the murders, Alameda County Sheriff’s Department reached out to in an effort to help cover the story beyond the California Bay Area, hopeful that potential witnesses would come forward and provide possible motives.  Scherer III had not been charged at that time.    

Dudek held a press conference to the week Scherer Jr and Abendroth’s bodies were found to discuss the matter, referencing’s reports that the younger Scherer was indeed well known on the poker circuit and considered by some to be a “professional”. 

"I'm not going to confirm or deny that for safety reasons," Dudek said. "It has been reported on and some of the other Web sites that he was in fact being referred to a professional poker player. I don't believe that's accurate that he was a professional poker player. His main business interests were buying and selling property."

While not a huge name on the poker circuit, Scherer III’s earnings were said to be around $300,000 lifetime.  This figure does not include any wins online.

Sgt. Scott Dudek speaks at press conference immediately following murders in March 2008


Deputy District Attorney Michael Nieto told the jury they must find the defendant guilty. 

"At various points of this trial, you have been within feet of a narcissistic, sociopathic killer," Nieto said. "Ernest Scherer III has no concern about anybody but himself. His entire explanation is a house of cards that is easily dismantled."

The defense attorney, Richard Foxall argued there was little evidence in the case directly linking his client.

"There is no direct evidence putting Mr. Scherer at the scene of the crime," Foxall said. "Many if not all the exhibits in this case don't go to the central issue of this case. They didn't prove a thing about what happened because Ernest Scherer III did not kill his parents."

Nieto claimed that the crime was especially personal in that Abendroth was struck with three times the amount of force.  She and the defendant had regularly argued over his gambling.

"There is something very personal behind that," Nieto said. "Those injuries should not be overlooked both in the quality and quantity."

Nieto once again showed pictures of the beaten and bloodied bodies to the jury.  He also slammed the baseball bat for effect. 

- Christopher Costigan, Publisher