Scherr, 54, was released on Thursday 77 years early after spending 23 years in prison for the rape and death of 18-year-old Candace Rough Surface. He was granted parole in May.
Rough Surface had a two-year-old child at the time of her killing.
Scherr, who was 15-years-old at the time of the murder, pleaded guilty to first degree manslaughter in 1996 and was sentenced to 100 years in prison.
The crime went unsolved for 15 years until the former mother-in-law of Scherr’s cousin and accomplice, James Stroh, told her employer, a lawyer, that Stroh had once confessed to his ex-wife that he was involved in the murder.
Scherr and Stroh, who was a year older than his cousin, met Rough Surface at a party in 1980. The three left the gathering together in Scherr’s truck.
According to Stroh’s testimony, Rough Surface hit him after she became upset in the vehicle. The teenage boys responded by violently dragging her into a nearby field where they both raped the 18-year-old. Scherr then shot Rough Surface five times with a rifle he retrieved from the truck. The girl’s body was found nine months later in a bay on the Missouri River.
Stroh, who was paroled in 2004, was sentenced to 15 years in prison in exchange for testifying against his younger cousin.
Nicholas Scherr will take up residence in Sioux Falls, according to Department of Corrections spokesperson Mandy Nielsen.
Rough Surface’s child, Homer Eagle, told KSFY News that he was distraught over the news that his mother’s murderer was granted parole.
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