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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Mom accused of helping son hide body is back in jail, accused of threatening witness

By Cameron Probert Tri-City Herald

KENNEWICK – A murder suspect’s mother is back in jail accused of witness tampering and assault just days after her release.

Kari Ann Golden, 54, was booked back into Benton County jail Wednesday morning just two days after a judge released her on her own recognizance.

Kari Golden is accused of helping her son, Michael Ray Golden, 23, hide the body of Oscar Munos, 38, after he was killed on New Year’s Eve.

Prosecutors had been working with Golden and had arranged to release her, Deputy Prosecutor Brendan Siefken said.

Siefken did not explain what the details of the agreement were, but police have said she indicated that she knew where Munos’ body was.

While she was out of jail, she allegedly threatened and assaulted a witness.

Golden, who was appearing by video, shook her head when Siefken made the statement.

With the new accusations, Siefken asked for her to be held on $50,000 bail in the Benton County jail.

Her attorney, Scott Johnson, reserved arguing for a lower bail. She pleaded innocent to the charge related to helping her son hide the body. Her trial is scheduled for April 15.

She is expected to be in court on Thursday in connection with the witness tampering and assault accusations.

Michael Golden along with his girlfriend, Coral Ochoa Hernandez, 33, remain in Benton County jail after their arrest on Feb. 22.

Michael Golden is charged with second-degree murder while his girlfriend is charged with rendering criminal assistance.

Ochoa Hernandez pleaded innocent, and her trial is scheduled for April 15. Michael Golden is expected to enter a plea on March 13. His bail remains set at $1 million.

After Kari Golden’s bail was set, Siefken asked for Ochoa Hernandez’s bail to be lowered to $50,000.

Her attorney, Talitha Hazelton, asked for her client to be released, since she doesn’t have any criminal history, has family in the area and planned to go into substance abuse treatment once she was released.

Judge Diana Ruff said she remained concerned that Ochoa Hernandez might interfere with the case.

Missing man

Kennewick police are continuing to search for Munos but have not discovered his body, Commander Isaac Merkl told the Tri-City Herald on Wednesday.

Michael Golden and his girlfriend lived in an Arrowhead Avenue home with Munos and several other people.

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

On New Year’s Eve, Golden allegedly confronted Munos with a shotgun. He pointed it at him several times before pulling the trigger, according to court documents.

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

After the alleged shooting, Michael Golden went to a Steptoe Street home on New Year’s Eve and told a friend that he had “done something,” according to court documents. Golden wasn’t clear about what had happened, but it was bad.

While the shooting appears to have happened on New Year’s Eve, police didn’t get involved until a Feb. 7 report that Munos was missing, according to court documents. This was followed by several tips that Munos had been killed.

Police found a wheelbarrow and bags covered in blood during a search of the Arrowhead Avenue home. There was also a broken TV and a sheet with blood on it on the ground.