A public defender for accused murderer Ernest Scherer III indicated to an Alameda County Superior Court judge Tuesday that his client would plead not guilty for the murders of his parents in their Castlewood Country Club home. Scherer Jr. was a board member of the San Ramon Valley Unified School District from 1988 to 1990.
Judge Morris Jacobson set a court date for June 8 for a motion to compel discovery. Attorney Richard Foxall, representing 30-year-old Scherer III, said he is requesting all electronic evidence in the case from the District Attorney's office, and specifically a security video that shows a red Chevrolet Camaro in the country club neighborhood.
Department of Motor Vehicle records show a 2001 red Chevrolet Camaro registered to Scherer III. According to an arrest affadavit filed by the Alameda County Sheriff's Department, a deputy reviewed video footage from the lower clubhouse at Castlewood Country Club and observed what appeared to be a red Camaro with a black top driving towards the home of Ernest Scherer Jr., 60, and Charlene Abendroth, 58, who lived on Castlewood Drive.
The time on that video clip was about 8:30 p.m. March 7, 2008 with the car approaching the home, and driving away at about 12:40 a.m. the next morning. Investigators have said they believe the pair were killed sometime after leaving a country club dinner March 7. Their bodies were discovered March 14 after their daughter, who was concerned by their lack of communication with her, asked a country club worker to check on them.
The sheriff's department, in the same affadavit, details other evidence it says it has against Scherer III, whom they say was motivated to kill his parents for financial gain.
Upon turning 30, he stood to collect upwards of $2 million in inheritance should his parents be deceased. Scherer III and his wife were on shaky financial ground, according to the affadavit, close to falling into foreclosure on their Brea, Calif. home and $40,000 in debt from credit cards.
A preliminary hearing for Scherer III has been set by Judge Jacobson for July 13 at the Renee C. Davidson Courthouse in Oakland.