Spokane rapist sentenced to death for killing prison guard

EVERETT, Wash. — A Washington state judge has sentenced an inmate to death for killing a state corrections officer in a prison chapel two years ago.

Byron Scherf is a convicted rapist from Spokane who already was serving life in prison when he attacked officer Jayme Biendl and strangled her with an amplifier cord at the Washington State Reformatory in January 2011.

A Snohomish County Superior Court jury took about an hour to convict him of aggravated murder last Thursday, and the same jury on Wednesday morning recommended the death penalty.

The judge formally imposed the sentence Wednesday afternoon.

The 54-year-old Scherf is serving a life sentence as a three-strikes convict. His third violent felony conviction occurred in Spokane County in 1997 after he kidnapped and raped a real estate agent.

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