Defendant in Parents Double Murder, Ernie Scherer III, Testifies Thursday

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Feb/25/2011
Ernie Scherer III

Poker player Ernie Scherer III took to the stand in his murder trial on Thursday.  He is accused of killing both his parents in March 2008 in a desperate attempt to obtain an over $1 million inheritance.  Ernie Scherer Jr. and his wife Charlene Abendroth were found brutally beaten and stabbed to death in their Alameda County, California home.

The relationship between the younger Ernie and his parents was often described as “strained” but  “overall wonderful”, especially during a Christmas get-together just months prior to the murder. 

“My father was my confidante,” said Scherer III in his testimony.  He wore a tan dress shirt, blue tie and khakis in court.  “I respected his advice.”

Ernie III was not as close to either his mother or sister, but claimed to have patched up any differences during the holiday season prior to the March 2008 murder.

In previous testimony, witnesses described a contentious relationship between the defendant and his mother whereby her strict Mormon religion made it especially difficult to accept Ernie’s penchant for gambling and poker.

Still, the younger Ernie often participated in poker and bridge tournaments with both his dad and grandfather.

Ernie III also detailed his troubled relationship with wife Robyn, who testified how she cooperated with authorities in helping to apprehend her unfaithful husband.

While Robyn was pregnant with Ernie’s child, she says he cheated on her with another woman.

“We discussed divorce,” he said. “I told her if she wanted to go down that road I’d seriously consider it but she was very, very opposed to it.  In the end we didn’t want to split up given that she was pregnant.”

Robyn had also stated that Ernie ran off on a skiing excursion the day she gave birth. 

“Once [Ernest Scherer IV] was born, her whole life revolved around TV, reality TV, soap operas, Passions, Days of Our Lives,” said Scherer III.  “I tried to get into Desperate Housewives, but after a while it was hard. I liked news and sports. ”

Ernie revealed she would not even watch the Super Bowl with him.

According to Scherer III, Robyn didn’t exactly like his gambling career move either.

“She hated Las Vegas,” he said. “She said the city was fake, all the people were fake and phony.  She always had a reason to not go with me.”

Scherer was banned from a number of casinos for allegedly counting cards.

The defendant also responded to questioning related to his Internet activity, specifically research on gun purchases.

Scherer III simply shrugged off the notion he may have been planning a murder.

“We were small government people who believed in the right to keep and bear arms,” he said, noting that his father approved of Ernie’s right to own a firearm especially in light of stories of armed men following poker players home to rob them of their winnings.   

The Pleasanton Patch has been actively covering this trial

- Christopher Costigan, Gambling911.com Publisher

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