MONROE, Wash. – Last year we reported on the heinous murder of Jayme Biendl, the 34-year-old prison guard at the Monroe Correctional Complex, who was murdered in the prison chapel by inmate Byron Scherf. His videotaped confession has been made public, one in which he explains why and how he killed Biendl.
Scherf was serving a life sentence for rape and assault when he was noticed missing during a head count last year. He was eventually found sitting in the prison’s chapel where he often volunteered, suffering from scratches and bite marks to his arms and hands.
He explained he had been attacked by a pack of Mexicans and had fallen asleep in the chapel. It was an hour later, while Scherf was being questioned in the shift lieutenant’s office, that Biendl’s body would be discovered inside the chapel. She had been strangled to death with an amplifier cord.
Scherf would be charged with Beindl’s murder and the prison would suffer some fallout in regards to Biendl’s fellow employees trying to cover their incompetence, and even some changes that improved worker safety. But on Tuesday, during a pre-trial hearing for Scherf’s death penalty case, the public got to hear the man himself as he confessed to killing Biendl as well as why he did it and how.
“It triggered a response in me that I don’t know,” Scherf said. “… It was like all these offenses that I had been stuffing for years and years and years just started running, and the more that ran through my mind, the madder I got.” Scherf said in the video interview.
He then goes on to describe the attack, one that he says was not sexual in nature or he would’ve sexually assaulted her before he killed her.
“I got down on this knee and we stood back up and tussled a little more. Then I just body-slammed her. I was on top of her on this side, using my arm to try to choke her and it wasn’t working. There was an instrument cable laying there, so I grabbed it and wrapped it around her head.”
In another interview Scherf is asked why he was speaking with police, to which he tearfully replied that, “he’d done a lot of soul searching.”
“She didn’t deserve to die. She didn’t deserve that,” he said.
His defense is arguing his time in solitary had messed with his head, and that he was confessing only so he could get better living conditions while in prison. But Scherf denies this in one of his interviews, stating that he was confessing on his own free will and against the advice of his lawyers.
“I wanna be here. I chose to be here,” Scherf said on the tape. “Like I said, I think in the interest of this family that’s lost their loved one and everything considered that it’s just, this thing just needs to be dealt with quickly.”