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Convicted rapist stands trial for murder of prison guard

By Andrew Dyer     May 3, 2013 in Crime
Monroe - The trial of a convicted rapist in a Washington state prison for the alleged strangulation murder of a prison guard has begun.
According to the Huffington Post Byron Scherf faces a charge of aggravated murder for strangling Jayme Biendl in January 2011 with an amplifier cord in the prison chapel at the Washington state Reformatory in Monroe.
Scherf was already serving a life sentence for rape and assault under Washington's persistent offender law when he attacked a real estate agent in 1997. His other offences were also violent crimes against women including a young teen. Scherf could receive the death penalty if convicted of the murder of Biendl.
The Daily Mail stated that Scherf has confessed to the murder of Biendl, stating that he waited for the other inmates to leave the chapel before beginning his attack as Biendl locked up for the night. The prison guard tried to a radio for help however Scherf ripped the receiver from her grasp. There is no evidence that she was sexually assaulted. Other officers found Scherf sitting outside the chapel after realizing that he was missing during inmate count.
An investigation into the death of Biendl has lead to the firing of three correctional officers and others were demoted or disciplined. In letters to investigators and prosecutors, Scherf has asked for the death penalty citing the family's right to swift justice in the case. However he has since changed his mind pledging to fight the charge brought against him.
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