The Herald of Everett, Washington
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Published: Wednesday, May 16, 2012, 3:06 p.m.

Accused killer logged lots of complaints

We know that some readers have had their fill of stories about the aggravated murder case involving Byron Scherf, the Monroe inmate accused of killing a Washington State Reformatory corrections officer.

We've received letters and calls from some suggesting that we stop writing.

But ignoring what is happening in a case where the death penalty is on the table isn't an option.

Likewise, it seems hard to imagine how the public good would be served by not digging to learn what went wrong the night corrections officer Jayme Biendl was killed.

Much of our coverage has been informed by a series of public records requests. The state Department of Corrections has turned over thousands of pages of documents, including a fresh batch late last week. The new records detail Scherf's peeves with the state prison system. His catalogue of complaints includes problems with timely delivery of his TV Guide, dislike for a rule against wearing slippers outside his cell, limitations on access to medicine for a stuffy nose, distaste for cold toast at breakfast, the lack of a dessert in his sack lunch and no sneeze guard on the prison cafeteria salad bar.

And then there was a 2000 incident involving hot dogs that led to this Scherf grievance:

"Today (Saturday, July 30th) we were served hot dogs. However, we were only given mustard and onions as condiments. We did not receive relish or catsup. Additionally, there was no coffee or tea available."

The corrections department investigated each of Scherf's complaints.

We aren't making that up. See for yourself in the attached files.
Story tags » Crime, Law & JusticePrisonProsecutionAssault

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