Monroe inmate's confession to officer's murder allowed at trial

Monroe inmate's confession to officer's murder allowed at trial

An image from a videotaped confession shows Byron Scherf gesturing while at the Snohomish County Sheriff's Office on February 10, 2011.

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by KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on June 5, 2012 at 11:25 AM

Updated Tuesday, Jun 5 at 1:56 PM

A Snohomish County judge ruled Tuesday that a recorded confession from the inmate accused of killing a Washington corrections officer last year will be admissible as evidence in his upcoming murder trial.

Byron Scherf is charged with strangling Officer Jamye Biendl in the chapel of the Monroe Corrections Complex on January 29.

Detectives taped his confession less than two weeks later, on February 10 and 11 at the Snohomish County Sheriff's Office. 

In the video, detectives asked Scherf, 52, to look at pictures of the crime scene and explain his thought process the night of the murder.

According to the tape, Scherf said he advanced on Biendl when they were alone, struggled and pinned her down, and wrapped a radio microphone cord around her neck.

Detectives asked Scherf several times before beginning the interview whether he wanted to speak to them. Scherf said he wrote out notes to police and prosecutors asking to speak with detectives and told his lawyer he "needed to follow his conscience."

Scherf goes on to explain how he ripped Biendl's radio away from her, and how she bit down hard on his finger causing him to bleed. He also claimed he blacked out just before he choked Biendl, and later came to while sitting in a chair in the chapel.

Scherf's trial was rescheduled for March 29, 2013 because defense attorneys asked for additional time to prepare. If convicted, he will face the death penalty.

KING 5's Lindsay Chamberlain, Allen Schauffler contributed to this report.

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