Accused Castlewood killer: home asleep during time of double murder
Ernest Scherer III refutes circumstantial evidence, earlier witnesses
Prosecutor Michael Nieto began his cross-examination of Ernest
Scherer III, who is accused of murdering his parents at their Pleasanton
home in March 2008, by creating a chart of people that Scherer admits he lied
to and listing the specific lies he told.
Scherer testified this week that he was hung over from a long night of drinking and was asleep alone on the couch in his Brea, Calif., home while his parents were killed in Pleasanton.
Scherer, 32, is on trial in the stabbing and bludgeoning deaths of his parents, Ernest Scherer Jr. and Charlene Abendroth, at their Castlewood home in March 2008. He spent most of this week on the witness stand testifying about his actions leading up to and following the double slaying.
He categorically denied buying Nike Impact Tomahawk sneakers, a baseball bat or soccer gloves in Primm, Nev. He was asked about each individually by defense attorney Richard Foxall and replied, "No" to each question.
Scherer also testified he doesn't shop at outlet stores such as the one in Primm where investigators turned up a receipt for a cash purchase of the three items around the time Scherer bought gas and a fast food meal in the small Nevada town. While the sneakers, bat and gloves have never been recovered, police did find a sticker at the home from a baseball bat like the ones bought with cash in Primm.
He said he had consumed large amounts of alcohol in Las Vegas the night before he headed home and fell asleep on his couch, and couldn't recall much of the journey home, the route he took or the movie that was on television that night, although he did remember it was still light out when he got home.
Scherer's recollection of the day the double murder occurred seemed sketchy compared to his memory of the next day, when he arrived at his grandfather's home for breakfast before they headed out to play in a bridge tournament.
The final question by Foxall, who first put Scherer on the witness
stand last week, was whether Scherer killed his parents. Scherer replied, "I absolutely did not."
In 90 minutes of cross-examination late Tuesday, Nieto forced Scherer to say that he lied often in instances in which he had extramarital affairs or had to borrow money.
Scherer also said that, as a professional poker player, being deceptive is part of the job description.
He also testified this week that he was stunned when his wife, Robyn, told him that she had seen a surveillance video of a car similar to his at his parents' Pleasanton home the night they were murdered three years ago.
"I was beyond surprised," Scherer said.
When Foxall asked him why, Scherer said, "I wasn't there on March 7, 2008," which is the night that Nieto says Scherer killed his parents.
Under questioning from Foxall, Scherer also denied many of the prosecution claims about his behavior following the slayings. He testified, for example, that his wife suggested that she delete text messages sent to him, and not that he suggested that to her, as she testified earlier. Those text messages were sent during an hours-long period around the time of the killings; Scherer has claimed his phone's battery was dead so he didn't receive the messages, and he didn't realize that until the next morning.
Scherer also said that he and Robyn went online to look at places they could go without a passport.
He also denied testimony from his aunt, Carolyn Oesterle, about fist-pumping that she claimed she saw during a walk when she told him he couldn't have committed the crime.
"I've never been for a walk around the block with my aunt in my entire life," he testified.