Posts tagged: Neal Rielly
A Spokane man who avoided prison as a teenager for his role in a murder because a judge believed he could be rehabilitated pleaded not guilty Tuesday to a second-degree burglary charge. If convicted, it would be his 10th felony since 2007.
Nicholas Adam Limpert, now 25, declined an interview request. His father, Thomas Limpert, attended his arraignment in Spokane County Superior Court and said his son has “had a rough life.”
Limpert’s criminal history began at age 15 with the November 2000 robbery and murder of a disabled janitor in northwest Spokane.
The decision to allow him to be charged as a juvenile angered the victim’s family, who said they doubted he could be rehabilitated.
Now news of a dizzying post-detention arrest record has the judge who sentenced him wondering the same thing.
The retired judge who sentenced a Spokane-area sex offender now suspected of murdering a corrections officer said he's “just heartsick for that poor woman.”
Retired Spokane County Superior Court Judge Neal Rielly (above) said Tuesday that he remembers Byron Scherf (right) very well and said he was struck by the man's cunning intelligence when he sentenced him in 1996.
“He was really a brilliant man from an intellectual standpoint,” Rielly said. “Time and again, he would tell the psychologist what a terrible thing he'd done and how sorry he was.”
“I just don't know how you could ever trust him,” Rielly continued. “I can't believe that anybody would ever trust him, would ever leave him alone with any woman, period.”
Scherf is accused of strangling Department of Corrections officer Jayme Biendl, the lone guard at a chapel at Monroe Correctional Facility.
Reports say he acknowledged killing Biendl and said he was angry with the way she'd spoken to him. Scherf also had asked others who attended the chapel to pray for him two days before the killing because he was struggling with temptation.
Spokane County Court Commissioner James Triplet had to keep the secret all of Sunday night: He’d been chosen by Gov. Chris Gregoire to replace Neal Rielly as Superior Court Judge.
“She swore me to secrecy until she could make the announcement today,” Triplet said of the governor. “It’s both an honor and a privilege to get this appointment.”
Gregoire picked Triplet over fellow finalists Mark Vovos, a prominent defense attorney, and former Spokane Mayor Dennis Hession.
“There was some stiff competition out there,” Triplet said. “I’ve been a fulltime court commissioner since 2004 so I feel I’m prepared for the next step in my career.”
Gregoire said in a news release that Triplet will continue to bring innovation to the court.
“As commissioner, he continually worked to provide understanding and accessibility to the general public regarding our court system,” Gregoire said in the release. “His passion and background will make him a strong addition to the Superior Court.”
Triplet — who earned his law degree in 1988 from Gonzaga University School of Law — said he’s currently working to transfer to another commissioner the cases involving 150 children in dependency and 300 family-law cases.
Earlier this year, the Washington State Bar Association named him Family Law Section Professional of the Year in recognition of his contributions to establishing a unified family court model.
Triplet said he worked for years under Rielly, who retired on Aug. 29.
“I have big shoes to try to fill,” Triplet said of Rielly. “But I think he got the better end of the deal. He’s retiring and gardening and playing golf. I have a lot of things I have to transition out of and into. That’s what I’m stressing about today.”
Vovos could not be reached late Monday for comment. Hession said he was disappointed but honored to have been considered a finalist.
“Jim Triplet is just a very good judicial officer,” Hession said. “He’s well respected and he will be an excellent Superior Court Judge.”
Spokane County Superior Court Judge Neal Rielly announced today that he will retire from the bench in August.
Rielly, who served 15 years as a judge and 6 ½ years as a court commissioner, said he will step down Aug. 29.
“I’m really thrilled about it,” said Rielly, 66. “I want to take my life in a new direction. I don’t feel burned out, but I feel a younger person should take the helm.”
Rielly leaves two unfilled years on his term. Washington Governor Chris Gregoire will appoint someone to fill the term prior to the next election.
“It’s been a great time,” Rielly said. “I have truly loved it.”