WESTERN WASHINGTON-- After deliberating less than two hours, jurors found Byron Scherf guilty of Murder in the First Degree in the death of correctional officer Jayme Biendl.
Scherf was accused of killing Biendl at the Monroe Correctional Facility in January 2011. He confessed to the killing less than two weeks later, telling detectives he was angry at how she had spoken with him.
Prosecutors say Scherf ambushed Biendl and strangled her with a microphone cable in the prison's chapel. Scherf said he snapped after she made a comment about his wife earlier in the day.
The case boiled down to whether the killing was premeditated. Prosecutors were seeking the death penalty against Scherf.
At the time of the murder, Scherf was serving a life sentence for rape and assault. Scherf lured a Spokane real estate agent to a home near Spangle and raped her in 1995.