Byron Scherf

A 54-year-old inmate has been sentenced to death for killing a Washington state corrections officer in a prison chapel two years ago.

Byron Scherf is a convicted rapist who already was serving life in prison when he attacked and strangled Officer Jayme Biendl with an amplifier cord in January 2011.

Associated Press

The same jury that convicted a Monroe Reformatory inmate of aggravated murder for strangling a prison guard starts work Monday in Everett on the penalty stage of the trial to determine whether Byron Scherf will be executed.

Snohomish County jurors were told during the trial that the convicted rapist was already serving a sentence of life without parole in 2011 when he strangled Jayme Biendl in the prison chapel.

Snohomish County Prosecutor Mark Roe says he'll seek the death penalty if Byron Scherf is convicted of aggravated murder in the death of Monroe prison Corrections Officer Jayme Biendl.

In announcing his decision Tuesday in Everett, Roe said jurors "should have the opportunity of imposing the ultimate punishment if they see fit."

Biendl was strangled Jan. 29 in the prison chapel.