A prisoner in Washington state has been jailed for almost 25 years after unexpectedly being placed in the same cell as the man who raped his younger sister and beating him to death.
As he spoke to his new cellmate in June 2020, Shane Goldsby, 26, grew certain that Robert Munger, 70, was the man who had repeatedly raped his underage sister.
In an interview with KHQ last year, Goldsby said he requested to be assigned to a new cell, but he was never transferred. The inmate said Munger then described how he had violated his sister in detail. Munger had been sentenced seven months before to 43 years in prison for child molestation and possession of child pornography.
“He kept… giving me details about what happened and what he did. About the photos and videos of him doing this stuff, and it was building up,” Goldsby told KHQ.
The chance meeting behind bars took place at the Airway Heights Corrections Center in Spokane County in eastern Washington state. Hours later, Goldsby snuck up behind Munger in the common area and knocked him to the floor and stomped on his head over and over, a Washington State Patrol investigation said. Munger died in hospital days later.
Pleading guilty to second-degree murder, Goldsby was sentenced to 298 months in prison, which is just under 25 years.
At a hearing last week, Goldsby’s lawyer read a statement on his client’s behalf: “I’m ashamed of my actions, I was put into a situation that I don’t wish on nobody. I got a lot of fixing to do.”
Questions are now being asked about why Goldsby was put in the same cell as his sister’s rapist.
The state’s Department of Corrections policy says that prisoners are “assessed for separation and facility prohibition concerns to ensure safety and facility security” and adds that inmates that “may be aggressors, victims of aggressors, or the threat to the orderly operation of a facility” shouldn’t be placed near each other.
Goldsby told KHQ last year that he thinks he was set up by corrections officers because he “completely humiliated the police” when he led them on a high-speed pursuit in a police vehicle in August 2017 and injuring a Washington state trooper after ramming into his vehicle.
Speaking about being placed in the same cell as his sister’s rapist, he said: “This stuff doesn’t happen. You’re talking the same institution, the same unit, the same pod in the same cell as this dude. That’s like hitting the jackpot in the casino seven times.”
But the Washington State Patrol investigation found that protocols were followed and that “there is no evidence suggesting screening staff should have known about the conflict between Goldsby and Munger”.
The report says part of the reasoning was that Goldsby and his sister don’t share the same last name. It also states that Goldsby made no attempt to be transferred out of the cell.
Inmate Randy Robinson witnessed Goldsby and Munger interact and told investigators he overheard them speak about Goldsby’s mother and that they sounded friendly.
But some hours later, Goldsby attacked Munger in the common area. The report states that Munger fell and hit his head on a steel seat. As he was lying on the floor seemingly unconscious, Goldsby reportedly punched him 14 times and then kicked and stomped on his head several times.
In August 2020, Republican state Senator Mike Padden called for an investigation into how the two men ended up sharing a cell.
Of the 70-year-old Munger, he said: “He probably would have died in prison, but he shouldn’t have had to die like that.”
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