A convicted rapist charged with strangling a prison guard at the Monroe Correctional Complex has pleaded not guilty to a charge that could bring the death penalty.
The Seattle Times reports that Byron Scherf’s lawyer entered the plea on his behalf in Snohomish County Superior Court on Wednesday, one day after Prosecutor Mark Roe announced he would seek Scherf’s execution .
The 52-year-old is accused of killing Officer Jayme Biendl on Jan. 29 inside the prison chapel. According to court documents, Scherf has told police that he deserves to die for killing Biendl.
A trial date was set for May 6, but that is likely to be delayed.