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PRESS RELEASE: Washington State Patrol investigation finds Corrections followed procedure in deadly assault by incarcerated individual

Released August 28, 2020, Updated August 29, 2020

Contact Janelle Guthrie, (360) 764-9791

DOC Communications

TUMWATER – The Washington State Patrol Investigative Services Bureau has released the results (pdf) of its independent investigation into the events that resulted in the death of an incarcerated individual at the Airway Heights Corrections Center in Airway Heights, Wash. The Washington State Department of Corrections requested an independent investigation by the State Patrol into the June 5, 2020 death of Robert Munger after he was assaulted by his cellmate, Shane Goldsby.

According to the investigative report conclusion:

  • At the time of the cell assignment, Department of Corrections staff was not aware of any connection between Goldsby and one of Munger’s victims until after the assault;
  • There is no evidence suggesting screening staff should have known about the conflict between the cellmates because Munger is not mentioned in Goldsby’s case file material and Goldsby and a victim of Munger’s crime have different last names, complicating an association between family members; and
  • The investigator found no evidence of any attempt by Goldsby or Munger to make any staff member aware of the conflict.

The Department provided full access to the State Patrol for their agency to complete their review. Prior to requesting the independent investigation, the Department conducted a critical incident review into the incident, including the housing placement of Goldsby with Munger.

Goldsby has been charged with Munger’s murder and is currently being held in the Intensive Management Unit at the Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla, Wash. pending his trial.

Per Corrections policy DOC 420.140 (pdf), housing assignments are made on available information, individual case factors and objective criteria, including, but not limited to, security issues, security threat group (gang) affiliation, medical or mental health issues, Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) risk assessment (pdf), predatory/victimization issues, self-disclosed concerns and criminal history.

“While the Patrol’s independent investigation found the department properly followed all procedures in place to protect our incarcerated population, this is an unfortunate and complicated incident and we are always reviewing procedures to identify areas for improvement,” said Secretary Stephen Sinclair.