After conviction, death penalty question in Washington prison guard murder trial

A jury in Washington state has convicted an inmate of first-degree aggravated murder in the killing of a prison guard.

Following Thursday's conviction, prosecutors could pursue the death penalty against 54-year-old Byron Scherf.

Scherf is a convicted rapist who was serving a life sentence when he killed 34-year-old Jayme Biendl in January 2011.

The Everett Herald reports that ( ) it took the Snohomish County less than an hour to convict Scherf.

Scherf's lawyers had suggested he didn't plan to kill Biendl, and they say he blacked out in the final minutes of her life.

The jury now must decide next week whether Scherf will face execution or a mandatory punishment of life in prison without release.


Information from: The Daily Herald,