BY STACI WILSON
Dr. Stephen Scher, who was serving a life sentence for the 1976 murder of his friend Martin Dillon, died of natural causes at the State Correctional Institute at Laurel Highlands in Somerset County on Aug. 9. He was 70.
On June 2, 1976, Scher and Dillon had been shooting clay pigeons at Dillon’s family hunting cabin, named Gunsmoke, in Silver Lake Twp.
Scher was first convicted of Dillon’s murder in October 1997. The case was appealed and in 2004 a new trial was ordered.
He was tried again in front of a Susquehanna County jury in March 2008; and was convicted on the first degree murder charge and sentenced to life in prison.
Witnesses testified at both trials that Scher and Dillon’s wife, Patricia, were embroiled in a love affair prior to the murder. Scher married Patricia in 1978. The couple had since divorced.
For 20 years, Scher claimed Dillon was killed when his shotgun accidentally went off as he was chasing after a porcupine.
On the stand in 1997, Scher recanted that story and said he and Dillon struggled with the weapon and it fired into Dillon’s chest.