Washington Supreme Court Upholds Conviction in Guard’s Death

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) – The Washington Supreme Court has unanimously upheld the conviction of a state prison inmate in the murder of corrections officer Jayme Biendl in 2011.

Byron Eugene Scherf was sentenced to death for the killing inside a chapel at the state prison in Monroe. The court on Thursday converted his sentence to life in prison without parole, because the justices struck down Washington’s death penalty last month as unconstitutional, but they affirmed his conviction.

Scherf argued that the trial court should have suppressed some evidence in his case, including videotaped statements he gave to investigators and medical records the state used to establish that he was capable of premeditation.

Scherf, a previously convicted murderer and rapist, was already serving life without parole when he attacked Biendl.

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