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Mother of Tri-Cities murderer sentenced for helping to hide body, threatening witness

Tri-City Herald
The mother of a Tri-Cities murderer will spend 60 days in jail after admitting to her role in a series of crimes surrounding the killing.

Kari Ann Golden’s sentence was initially supposed to be 30 days, but Judge Norma Rodriguez felt the joint recommendation was too low for the crimes.

“I want you to know that it’s difficult for me to go over the prosecution recommendation, I hope you understand the gravity of these charges,” the judge told the 54-year-old woman on Thursday afternoon.

Golden pleaded guilty to second-degree rendering criminal assistant, attempted witness tampering and fourth-degree assault, two gross misdemeanors and a misdemeanor.

This included both the help she gave to her son, Michael Ray Golden, to hide the body of Oscar Munos, as well as the threatening a potential witness at a home just days after getting out of jail.

Her maximum possible sentence for the crimes would be a year in jail.

She will spend a total of 60 days in jail for the crimes, of which she’s already served 21 days, according to her attorney.

Rodriguez also signed off on a five-year court order to prevent her from having any contact with the woman she was accused of threatening.

Kari Golden provided information about the potential location of Munos’ body after her initial arrest.

Family members weren’t at Thursday’s hearing because they were at a memorial service for the 38-year-old man, Deputy Prosecutor Kristin McRoberts said.

They did express their frustration that Golden wouldn’t help without getting her charges lessened, she said.

“She (Kari Golden) caused a tremendous amount of pain,” McRoberts said.

Golden’s attorney, Mitchell Crook, said his client has admitted that she was at fault from the point when she was arrested. The entire event had impacted her deeply.

“It is a very tough time in her life,” he said. “She wants to get out of active addiction.”

Golden told Rodriguez she only wanted to help her son after discovering what he had done.

She said Munos was her friend as well and she mourns his death.

She downplayed the assault and continued to deny making any threats to a witness. She told the judge that all she did was try to take a comb from the woman’s hair and the jacket and shoes the woman was wearing.

Michael Golden pleaded guilty to second-degree murder on March 13. He is serving a 19 1/2-year prison sentence.

Michael Golden’s girlfriend, Coral Hernandez, 33, remains charged in Benton County with first-degree rendering criminal assistance. She has been released on $50,000 bond.

Munos’ Murder

Michael Golden told investigators that he shot his roommate, Munos, on New Year’s Eve at the Arrowhead Avenue home they shared.

He told investigators that he had been hearing voices claiming that Munos was going to shoot him and he needed to defend himself, according to court documents.

Golden confronted Munos with a shotgun. He pointed it at him several times before pulling the trigger, according to court documents.

He told investigators that he, his girlfriend and his mother moved the body from the bedroom to the garage in a large black wheelbarrow. Then they loaded it into his mother’s car and buried it in a shallow grave in Benton County, court documents.

Police became involved in the search for Munos in February after reports from family members. They discovered the items used to move the body covered with blood inside the house.

Kennewick detectives discovered the body in the area of Horn Rapids Park off of Highway 225 on March 14.


Kari Golden was arrested on Feb. 22 as police were investigating what appeared to be a murder. She initially worked with police to help with finding Munos’ body.

That help led to her release from jail four days later, but she ended up back in jail days later after threatening and assaulting a woman at her home, according to court documents.

When Kari Golden returned to her home on Steptoe Street she found one of her housemates outside playing with a child.

Kari Golden immediately confronted the woman, and told her she needed to leave.

While the woman was packing her items to leave, Kari Golden began telling everyone that she had the paperwork to prove that the woman was a “snitch,” and the reason the Goldens had been arrested for the murder, according to court documents.

“Kari told her ‘If I could kill you right now and get away with it, I would,’” according to court documents.

After the woman went outside with her items, Kari Golden told her to take off her coat, because it belonged to Kari.

When the other woman refused, Kari Golden started pulling on the coat and then started pulling on the other woman’s hair.

When detectives spoke with Kari Golden, she admitted to pulling the woman’s ponytail and that she wanted to beat her up because she was a “snitch.”

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