Inmate who killed prison guard could face death

May 13, 2013

The same jury that convicted a Monroe Reformatory inmate of aggravated murder for strangling a prison guard starts work Monday in Everett on the penalty stage of the trial to determine whether Byron Scherf will be executed.

Snohomish County jurors were told during the trial that the convicted rapist was already serving a sentence of life without parole in 2011 when he strangled Jayme Biendl in the prison chapel.

Now the jury will have to decide whether there are mitigating factors to spare the 54-year-old's life.

The only possible sentences for aggravated murder in Washington are life in prison without parole or death.