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

Shock from WSU suicide ripples through Snohomish County

Roughly 1 in 10 seniors, sophomores and 8th-graders said they had attempted to take their own lives.

New leaders coming to county, state political parties

Hillary Moralez of Bothell takes over as chair for the Snohomish County Democratic Party.

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.

$1,000 reward for info on who killed an eagle near Snohomish

After being shot, the raptor was treated at the Sarvey Wildlife Center but died overnight.

Possible bobcat sighting keeps Snohomish students inside

The creature was spotted on the campus of Valley View Middle School around noon.

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.

Stabbing in Everett follows dispute between brothers-in-law

The victim, 54, was hospitalized. The suspect, 29, had not been apprehended Thursday.

Camano Island man gets 18 years for role in drug ring

He was convicted of helping lead a drug distribution network in four Washington counties.

Lake Stevens man missing since beginning of January

Jason Michael Knox White hasn’t used his credit card or withdrawn money from his bank since then.

Most Read