Inmate confession details in guard's death

AP News
Posted: Jul 14, 2011 2:23 AM
Inmate confession details in guard's death

A convicted rapist charged with aggravated murder in the Jan. 29 death of a Washington state corrections officer described to detectives how he snuck up behind her in the Monroe Correctional Facility's chapel.

Byron Scherf said Jayme Biendl first tried to reason with him. But the inmate claimed Biendl had said something to him earlier that day that he considered disrespectful to his wife, and that set him off.

The Daily Herald of Everett reported on Scherf's statements after they were made public Wednesday in response to records requests. They provide details of the confession detectives outlined in earlier court papers.

Scherf said he quickly tore the radio microphone from her uniform near her shoulder and the pair struggled over the radio on her hip. The officer tried to hang on to the radio and yell for help.

The 52-year-old inmate said she kicked, bit and grappled with him for minutes before he choked her with a cord.

The newspaper said the inmate made the statements against his lawyers' advice and after being advised of his right to remain silent.

The transcripts detail how Scherf told detectives that he didn't want his case to drag on and that he hoped to face swift justice, which he believed would require him to forfeit his life.

"The Bible says if you take a life, you give a life. That's all I can say," the transcript quotes a tearful Scherf as saying.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty. An aggravated murder conviction in Washington is punishable by either death or life in prison without parole.

The serial rapist already was serving a life sentence when Biendl was killed.