By Diana Hefley Herald Writer
EVERETT — The video and audio recordings of an inmate admitting that he ambushed and killed Monroe corrections officer Jayme Biendl were released on Friday under state public records laws.
In February 2011, Byron Scherf agreed to speak with detectives on camera. He also agreed to have the interviews tape-recorded. Those recordings were played this week in open court during a pre-trial hearing. Prosecutors are seeking to have Scherf’s statements admitted as evidence during his capital murder trial.
Snohomish County Superior Court Judge George Appel has yet to decide if Scherf’s statements were obtained legally and whether jurors will be allowed to see the video and audio recordings. More testimony is expected next month.
The Herald and other media last year requested the police investigation file after the case was referred to prosecutors. The newspaper already has received hundreds of documents, including transcripts of the interviews between Scherf and detectives.
The last installment of the investigation records was released to media on Friday. It primarily included the video and audio recordings of interviews with the defendant, dozens of corrections officers, Scherf’s wife and younger brother and Biendl’s father.
The records also included photographs taken of Scherf over several days in February 2011. The photographs catalogue the convicted rapist’s injuries, including bruising to Scherf’s hands, legs and chest. There are pictures of a wound to his finger. Scherf told detectives that Biendl bit him while struggling for her life.
Scherf is accused of strangling Biendl, 34, with an amplifier cord at her post in the prison chapel. He told detectives that he became angry after Biendl said something about his wife earlier in the night. He declined to give specific details about the conversation.
“Well, initially, I was just gonna wait around until everybody left and just, you know, beat her up. That’s basically what I was gonna do. But the more I sat there, the longer I sat there, the madder I got. And it became much more than that, obviously,” Scherf said. “I got to the point where I knew that I was gonna kill her.”
Scherf, 53, was found sitting outside the chapel on the night Biendl was killed.
Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463; firstname.lastname@example.org.