Scherf pretrial hearing continued to next month

EVERETT — Snohomish County Superior Court Judge George Appel agreed Wednesday to continue the rest of a pretrial hearing in Byron Scherf’s death penalty case until early next month.

Snohomish County prosecutors expect to call one more detective to the stand as part of their argument to allow jurors to hear statements Scherf made to detectives several days after Monroe corrections officer Jayme Biendl was found dead in the prison chapel.

Scherf, 53, is charged with aggravated murder in connection with Biendl’s death on Jan. 29, 2011.

Prosecutors on Tuesday played the video and audio recordings of Scherf talking to detectives shortly after he was moved from the prison to the Snohomish County Jail. In the recordings, Scherf admitted to strangling Biendl, 34, with an amplifier cord.

Appel will determine if Scherf made the statements freely and voluntarily, and whether he was properly advised of his rights.

The defense is expected to raise questions about the inmate’s mental state when he talked with detectives.

Appel on Wednesday gave the defense attorneys deadlines for providing prosecutors with a list of witnesses and an expert report.

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