How much of Scherf tapes to use in trial debated

EVERETT — Lawyers were in court Wednesday arguing over whether jurors should be allowed to hear complete police interviews with the inmate accused of killing Monroe corrections officer Jayme Biendl in 2011.

Snohomish County Superior Court Judge George Appel already had ruled that Byron Scherf’s video-recorded interviews are admissible. The judge concluded that the inmate was properly advised of his rights and spoke to detectives voluntarily.

Lawyers on Wednesday argued over whether all of what Scherf told detectives should be heard at trial.

Appel agreed that portions of the interview transcripts and video recordings shouldn’t be allowed in, including statements that describe Scherf’s past crimes. Jurors will be told that Scherf was serving a life sentence, but the details of his criminal history won’t be admissible during the trial. If he’s convicted, jurors likely will hear the details during the penalty phase.

In many of instances, prosecutors had agreed to the omissions. The judge, however, also sided with prosecutors in their fight to allow jurors to hear Scherf explain why he agreed to talk to police, and the statements, prosecutors say, help prove that Biendl’s killing was premeditated.

The inmate faces the death penalty if he’s convicted. Trial is scheduled to begin at the end of March.

Lawyers are expected to be back in court next month to argue whether the defendant can receive a fair trial in Snohomish County or whether a change of venue is warranted.

More in Local News

Young woman missing from Mukilteo found safe

She called her parents and told them she was at a museum in Seattle.

Mom and brother turn in suspect in Stanwood robberies

The man is suspected of robbing the same gas station twice, and apologizing to the clerk afterward.

Derrick “Wiz” Crawford, 22, is a suspect in the homicide of his roommate. (Edmonds Police Department)
Roommate suspected in Edmonds killing found hiding in closet

Police had been searching for him for 10 days before locating him at a house in Everett.

Video shows man suspected of attacking a woman in Edmonds

The man allegedly threw her on the ground, then ran away after the she began kicking and screaming.

Navy to put filter in Coupeville’s contaminated water system

Chemicals from firefighting foam was found in the town’s drinking water.

Officials to test sanity of suspect in Everett crime spree

He allegedly tried to rob and clobber a transit worker, then fled and struggled with police.

Katharine Graham, then CEO and chairwoman of the board of The Washington Post Co., looks over a copy of The Daily Herald with Larry Hanson, then The Herald’s publisher, during her visit to Everett on Sept. 20, 1984. The Washington Post Co. owned The Herald from 1978 until 2013. (Herald archives)
Everett’s brush with Katharine Graham, leader of ‘The Post’

Retired Herald publisher Larry Hanson recalls The Washington Post publisher’s visits.

Former Monroe cop loses appeal on sex crimes conviction

Once a highly respected officer, he was found guilty of secretly videotaping his kids’ babysitter.

Families seek to change wrongful death law

A bill would allow or parents or siblings who wish to pursue a suit for an unmarried, childless adult.

Most Read