Crime & Courts

Two say man, 19, killed stepdad

TOPEKA — Two witnesses testified Monday that a 19-year-old man admitted he shot his stepfather, who was found in his bed with a bullet through his head.

Carl Baldwin said Scott M. Mosher called him Oct. 25 and said he shot his stepfather, Gerald S. Eberhardt, hours earlier. Eberhardt, 51, was found slain in his Tecumseh home, with a television remote control in his hand.

Baldwin testified in Shawnee County District Court that Mosher had asked him for help in getting a gun and had talked about killing his stepfather. He said Mosher's mother, Michelle Eberhardt, sent him a text message seeking help finding someone to kill her husband.

"She had $2,000, and she was sick of Mr. Eberhardt," Baldwin said.

Baldwin said he left the matter with "a crackhead friend" who took the money but didn't do the job. He said a few days later, Mosher called him to say he had shot his stepfather. Baldwin has not been charged in the case.

Monday's hearing was to decide if there was enough evidence to support charges of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder against Mosher, his 43-year-old mother and two other co-defendants, Derrick Dewayne Haase, 20, and Stephanie A. Menard, 22. Michelle Eberhardt also is charged with soliciting murder.

Attorneys for the four co-defendants have declined to comment. The hearing is expected to last until Wednesday.

Julie Villegas-Avila, another of Mosher's friends, testified Monday that Mosher and Haase plotted Eberhardt's killing at her home. She said Michelle Eberhardt had offered them money and a car for Haase from her husband's dealership.

Villegas-Avila said Mosher showed up at her place after the shooting and asked to hide there.

"He said he shot someone," Villegas-Avila testified. "I asked him if it was his stepfather. He put his head down and nodded his head, yes."

During questioning by defense attorneys, Villegas-Avila acknowledged she had been smoking marijuana at the time she said the murder was being plotted.

Prosecutors have not outlined Menard's role in the case. She is a friend of Mosher's.

Both Villegas-Avila and Carl Baldwin testified that Mosher said his stepfather was abusing his mother.

The Shawnee County sheriff's department has said it answered five domestic calls this year at the Eberhardts' home. Court records show both Mosher and Gerald Eberhardt were defendants in past domestic battery cases.

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