Correctional Officer Jayme Lee Biendl
Washington State Department of Corrections
End of Watch: Saturday, January 29, 2011
Tour of Duty: 8 years
Badge Number: Not available
Cause of Death: Assault
Date of Incident: Saturday, January 29, 2011
Weapon Used: Person
Suspect Info: In custody
Correctional Officer Jayme Biendl was assaulted and killed in the Monroe Correctional Facility’s chapel.
An inmate was discovered missing during a routine headcount shortly after 9:00 pm. The inmate was located three minutes later in the prison chapel’s lobby and informed the officers that he had planned to escape.
After an equipment inventory was completed it was discovered that a set of keys and radio were missing. Other officers were dispatched to Officer Biendl’s assigned duty post and found her unresponsive. CPR was initiated but she was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics a short time later.
Officer Biendl had served with the Washington State Department of Corrections for eight years.
Agency Contact Information
Washington State Department of Corrections
PO Box 41100
Mail Stop 41100
Olympia, WA 98504
Phone: (360) 725-8213
Please contact the Washington State Department of Corrections for funeral arrangements or for survivor benefit fund information.
Correctional Officer Found at Monroe Correctional Complex
MONROE – A correctional officer was found dead late Saturday night at Monroe Correctional Complex. An offender who was found earlier was taken to a segregation unit while Monroe police officers investigate.
The officer, Jayme Biendl, 34, had been with the Department of Corrections since 2002. She was Monroe’s Officer of the Year in 2008.
“She was active, loved horses and just was beloved by her co-workers at the facility,” Thompson said. “Obviously being officer of the year, this was her career. She took her job really seriously, and she did it really well.”
At about 9:14 p.m. the staff conducted a routine count of offenders inside the Washington State Reformatory Unit and discovered that an offender was missing. The offender was found three minutes later in chapel lobby and told officers he had planned to escape.
An hour later staff members completed an inventory of equipment and discovered that a correctional officer’s keys and radio were missing. Staff members immediately went to where she worked and found her unresponsive. The staff conducted CPR and called 911. Emergency responders declared the officer dead at the scene at 10:49 p.m.
Monroe Correctional Complex will be on a lockdown Sunday as local law enforcement continue to investigate.
Officer Biendl was murdered by an inmate in the prison chapel. She had complained several times to her supervisor about feeling unsafe working alone with no backup in the chapel.
Teamsters Local 117 grieves the senseless murder of Jayme Biendl. Our thoughts and prayers go out to her loved ones. This is what we’ve all feared would happen, and now it has.
Correctional Officers across the State have been speaking out for months against budget cuts that have reduced the size of the staff and programming at prison facilities and put the lives of Correctional Empoyees at risk.
Her alleged attacker was identified as Byron E. Scherf, a convicted repeat sex offender who was convicted in 1993 for kidnapping and raping a Pierce County woman at knifepoint, then setting her on fire with gasoline. He also was convicted of rape and assault in two other cases.
A spokesman for the Monroe Police Department said the cause of Biendl’s death was stab wounds. Biendl was fully clothed when found, and there is no evidence of sexual assault.
Scherf, a three-strikes offender, is serving a life sentence at Monroe and was being housed in a medium-security unit at the Monroe complex, which has five units with varying security levels. He has now been isolated in a segregation unit, Lewis said.
Though the suspect in Biendl’s slaying entered the prison system as a high-security prisoner, known as a “close-custody offender,” he was reviewed in 2009 and determined to qualify to stay in the medium-security reformatory unit , Frakes said.
Court records show that Scherf was first convicted of second-degree assault in 1978 and sentenced to 10 years in prison, but was paroled two years later.
While on parole Scherf kidnapped a young waitress and brought her to an abandoned house where he bound and raped her. He then poured gasoline over the waitress, lit it, and left. The waitress survived by wriggling, still bound, through a second-story window.
Scherf was convicted of the rape and sentenced to life in prison, but was patroled again on Dec. 30, 1993.
During his second parole, he lured a female real estate agent to a remote home by posing as a potential buyer, then kidnapped and raped her. He again was convicted and sentenced to life in prison, and is now serving that sentence at Monroe.
The victim in that attack later sued the state, alleging that Scherf should never have been released on parole and was inadequately supervised after he was paroled. She lost the case after appealing all the way to the state Supreme Court.
About 800 to 900 inmates are housed at the Monroe facility.