Scherer murder suspect seized | February 27, 2009 | Danville Express | |

Danville Express

Newsfront - February 27, 2009

Scherer murder suspect seized

Son accused of killing parents now in Santa Rita Jail

by Janet Pelletier

The son of a couple brutally killed in their Castlewood home last March waived extradition from Las Vegas late Tuesday night and was brought to Santa Rita Jail. Ernest Scherer III, 30, arrived by plane at midnight, escorted by authorities. He was taken for questioning by Alameda County Sheriff's investigators to San Leandro, Sgt. J.D. Nelson confirmed just prior to his arrival.

Scherer III was arrested in Las Vegas on Monday in connection with the brutal murders of Ernie Scherer Jr., 60, and his wife, Charlene Abendroth, 57. Scherer Jr., an active Republican fundraiser, was a former member of the San Ramon Valley Unified School District board, where he was recalled by voters.

Scherer III was charged Tuesday with two counts of murder and two special circumstances clauses that could lead to the death penalty for the murders of his parents, according to Alameda County District Attorney Tom Orloff. Detectives believe the couple had been dead inside their Castlewood Country Club home for about a week before they were found by a club employee acting on a request by the couple's daughter.

Orloff said the special circumstances clauses filed against Scherer III are multiple murder and murder for financial gain. He will be arraigned in the Wiley Manuel Courthouse in Oakland, Orloff said.

Scherer Jr. dabbled in playing poker for small amounts of money but made his living in real estate. The son gambled on a more professional level, and had total earnings of more than $300,000, according to multiple gambling Web sites. Alameda County Sheriff's investigator Scott Dudek said the son was known to have debts.

As funeral services were held for the couple at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Pleasanton, where Abendroth was a devoted member, suspicion clouded around the son. The same day as the services, investigators served a search warrant on the son's home in Orange County. They also focused on a security video showing a red Chevy Camaro seen in the neighborhood at the time of the killings.

--Bay City News contributed to this report.