Jury to resume deliberations this morning on murder charges against Ernest Scherer III

Son is accused of killing his parents in their Castlewood home 3 years ago

The jury that will determine Ernest Scherer III's fate is scheduled to resume deliberations this morning on charges that he killed his parents in 2008.

Prosecution and defense arguments ended their final arguments last Thursday and the jury began deliberations Friday.

Scherer is accused of two counts of murder for the deaths of his parents, Ernest Scherer Jr., 60, and Charlene Abendroth, 57, inside their Castlewood Country Club home in Pleasanton in March 2008.

In closing arguments, defense attorney Richard Foxall repeatedly called into question testimony from witnesses -- including Scherer's family members -- claiming they "shaded the truth."

During final arguments, Scherer was animated, frequently nodding his head or smiling at points made by his attorney, and frowning or shaking his head during prosecutor Michael Nieto's closing.

Foxall stressed what testimony the jury could consider reasonable and unreasonable in his argument, focusing again on his and Scherer's claims that police never looked at any other potential suspects.

Robyn Scherer, for example, was furious with her husband after learning from investigators the extent of Scherer's infidelities.

In addition, Foxall said, "Police had threatened to take their child."

Foxall also focused on differences in what witnesses told police in the initial investigation and how that testimony changed on the witness stand.

Ernest Scherer Sr., for example, didn't mention differences between his son and grandson during his first talk with detectives, but later changed his statement, according to Foxall. Scherer's aunt, Carolyn Oesterle, didn't mention the fist-pumping she claims he did when she told him he couldn't have committed the crime until January 2009, nearly a year after the deaths.

"Mr. Scherer's family embellished the facts," Foxall told the jury, explaining that they were likely looking for closure and believed the police account of the crime.

He told jury members they had to put emotion aside when considering the case, something he claimed the family was unable to do.

Foxall also created a document that showed Scherer and his wife weren't in the dire financial situation claimed by prosecutor Nieto, and repeatedly mentioned unidentified DNA in "footprint 13-J," referring to crime scene photographs.

In the prosecution's closing areguments, Nieto reviewed his case, which relies entirely on circumstantial evidence, saying, "A liar stands alone."

That evidence includes a video of a car matching Scherer's Camaro convertible in the area near when police think the murders occurred; an unexplained time that Scherer's cell phone was off around that time; and the purchase, hours earlier, of a bat, sneakers and soccer gloves in Primm, Nev., near the time Scherer was buying gas and fast food in the same town.

Nieto portrayed a man who believed he could get away with murder, and repeated his claim that the motive was for Scherer to get his hands on an inheritance of well over $1 million.

Members of the family, including Oesterle and Ernest Scherer Sr., were in court this week in anticipation of a verdict.


Like this comment
Posted by Bad Photo?
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 24, 2011 at 10:41 am

Don't you have any other pictures of him!

Sad part is that many bad guys can look normal, likable, until you get to know them.

Like this comment
Posted by Julia
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 24, 2011 at 6:16 pm

I agree...the photo is pretty slanted. He looks wired, strange and guilty as hell. Maybe the PW editor could have gotten a copy of his mug photo you know the one with the numbers on it from the local cops. I think he's guilty but give the low life a break with the photo session.

Thanks, Julia from Alamo

Like this comment
Posted by intentionally_blank
a resident of another community
on Mar 25, 2011 at 6:03 pm

Julia from Alamo, that *is* his mugshot.

Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Mar 25, 2011 at 6:17 pm

Life isn't all sweet photos mes petites...pretty is as pretty does...

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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