Poker Player Accused of Bludgeoning Both Parents Could be Found “Not Guilty” Says Attorney

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Ernie Scherer III

The defense attorney for poker player Ernie Scherer III claims the case against his client is “weak”.

Closing arguments were heard in the Scherer III murder trial these past few days.  He is accused of brutally beating and stabbing to death his parents, Ernest Scherer Jr., 60, and Charlene Abendroth, 57, in their Castlewood Country Club home outside of San Jose, California, in March of 2008.  The case gained national attention when was called upon by the Alameda Country Sherriff’s Department to help cover the story beyond California’s Bay Area in hopes of finding potential witnesses and those who knew Scherer III on the poker circuit.  He had not yet been charged with the crime. 

Scherer’s attorney, Richard Foxall,has even expressed concern over a glowing piece appearing in a local paper regarding outgoing Sergeant Scott Dudek – the man who led the investigation against his client  - and its potential impact on jurors.  

Foxall repeatedly informed the jury that  the prosecution has the burden to prove that Scherer is guilty of a double slaying,something he says they have failed to do.

"If you look long and hard at anyone's life you are going to find coincidences," Foxall said. "Almost nobody's life is subjected to the amount of scrutiny Mr. Scherer's life has been."

Scherer’s infidelity, lack of emotion and deceptiveness applied as a poker player were regular themes brought up during the trial. 

Nothing in the case can positively place Scherer at the gruesome scene of his parents killing, Foxall said, insisting there were explanations for each piece of evidence presented by the prosecution.

The case against the defendant hinges heavily on surveillance video of a car similar to Scherer III’s own arriving and leaving his parents home the day of the murders.    Prosecutor Mike Nieto also presented the jury with a receipt for a youth baseball bat reportedly used in the commission of the crime purchased across the street from where the defendant had bought gasoline just minutes prior.  Sneaker prints left at the scene match those of the Nike shoes that were bought along with the baseball bat.  The prosecution also sought to demonstrate that Scherer III purposely shut off his cell phone at the time of the murders to hide his location. 

"It's a chain and that chain is broken," Foxall said during his closing arguments. "Any coincidence that does not prove beyond a reasonable doubt is a chain that is broken."

Foxall concluded that his client was a victim of a witch hunt.

"The detectives became advocates for a certain outcome in this case," Foxall said.

- Christopher Costigan, Publisher has been serving the gambling community with news around the clock since September 2000.

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