EVERETT, Wash. (AP) - Closing arguments are expected Thursday in Everett in the aggravated murder trial of an inmate accused of killing Monroe Reformatory corrections officer Jayme Biendl in the prison chapel.
If Byron Scherf is convicted as charged he could face the death penalty.
The Daily Herald reports (http://bit.ly/13ki3D3 ) the jury is expected to be given the option of convicting Scherf of second-degree murder, which would remove execution as a punishment.
Scherf and his lawyers do not dispute that he strangled Biendl in January 2011. The Snohomish County jury saw his video confession this week and heard forensic testimony about how she was strangled with an amplifier cord.
Scherf's lawyers have suggested he didn't plan to kill her, and they say he blacked out in the final minutes of her life.
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