Parents filed suit over death of teen pushed from trestle


The parents of an 18-year-old man who was pushed to his death from a Bothell trestle filed a civil suit yesterday against five young men who were accused in the crime and against their parents.

The suit was filed in King County Superior Court by Peter and Anita Schuerhoff, the divorced parents of Michael Schuerhoff, who drowned in the Sammamish Slough after he was pushed from the 36-foot-high trestle Jan. 2.

William Marler, the Schuerhoffs' lawyer, said the suit alleges the five young men were responsible for Schuerhoff's death and their parents are liable because of negligent supervision.

Brian Schrader, 18, pleaded guilty in April to second-degree murder for pushing Schuerhoff, but might seek to withdraw his plea. Tyler Wheaton, 18, cut a deal with prosecutors in March to plead guilty to a juvenile charge of rendering criminal assistance. Three youths were acquitted last week of first-degree manslaughter in the case: Steve Garza, 16; Larry Edinger, 17; and Ben Drake, 16.

Cary Virtue, an attorney who represented Garza in the manslaughter trial, called the civil suit "revenge at its worst."