Inmate seeks new judge in WA prison guard slaying

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EVERETT, Wash. (AP) -- Lawyers for the Monroe prison inmate charged with murder in the slaying of Corrections Officer Jayme Biendl are asking for another judge to hear the trial that could result in a death penalty for Byron Scherf.

The Daily Herald reports (http://bit.ly/nwRfTU ) defense attorneys filed a motion requesting Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Thomas Wynne withdraw because of an appearance of bias. They say he offered opinions he was not asked to review, demonstrating bias in favor of the prosecutor.

In a response filed Monday deputy prosecutors accused the defense of "judge shopping" and attempting to intimidate Wynne. The judge is expected to take up the issue Thursday.

The 53-year-old Sherf was already serving a life sentence for sex crimes when Biendl was strangled last January in the prison chapel.

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Information from: The Daily Herald, http://www.heraldnet.com