Trial Of Poker Player Accused Of Bludgeoning Parents Gets Started Today

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:

Ernest Scherer III is accused of murdering his parents in their Alameda County, California home in March 2008.  The poker player is believed to have owed substantial gambling debts and was looking to get a hold of his parents $1.5 million inheritance.  At the time of the brutal murder, the Alameda County Sherriff’s Department had reached out to, with its reach far beyond the Northern California borders, in an effort to find witnesses in the case. 

Months after the murders of Ernest Scherer Jr., 60, a real estate investor, and Charlene Abendroth, 57, a college professor, Scherer III would finally be arrested.

The trial of Ernest Scherer III was set to get underway today (Tuesday, January 4, 2011).  One of the prosecution’s witnesses is said to be an unidentified women who will claim that she was the victim of domestic violence by Scherer in July 2008, between the time of the slayings and Scherer's arrest in Las Vegas the following February. The prosecution aims to refute character testimony that Scherer never showed violence.

They will also seek to portray Ernie Scherer III as a degenerate gambler so desperate for cash that he savagely beat his parents and staged the murder scene to appear like a home invasion.

Authorities say that the 32-year-old was deep in debt from his gambling.  The younger Scherer was somewhat known on the poker circuit, enjoying nominal success.  The elder Scherer was also a known poker player.  Ernie III and his wife were said to have owed $40,000 in consumer debt and failed to pay their property taxes and home mortgage during a period leading up to the murders.

Due to a judge’s long-standing gag order, information about the upcoming trial has been mostly hard to come by.  Some of the anticipated witness information was leaked to the press. even discovered a woman who claims to have dated Scherer prior to the murders, providing some insight into his character.

(I) had gone out with Ernie on two occasions when he called me one Friday night inviting me to meet him up in Wendover, Nevada where he had a comped suite and $100 comped dinner for two.  For a quick adventure like that I could suffer though the company of a guy I didn't particularly like...or so I thought.

Ernie had apparently decided we were getting in the hot tub....nude.  Without even saying anything to me he began undressing revealing his choice undergarment, tighty-whities.  This was already almost too much for me, but what came next left me biting my tongue to contain my laughter.  Ernie turned around to pick his clothes off the floor revealing nothing less than a two inch brown running streak on the back of those tighty-whities.  The unexpected and unbelievable site of this caused me to excuse myself back to the casino lobby. 

Scherer III is accused of two counts of murder and also faces two special circumstance allegations: multiple murder and murder for financial gain.

Alameda County Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Horner, who presided over Scherer's preliminary hearing, is also presiding over Scherer's trial.

There has already been weeks of pre-trial discovery and motions prior to the jury selection.

- Christopher Costigan, Publisher