Man charged with in shooting death of homeless woman

The Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office charged Jess Charles Golden, 25, with one count of murder in the second degree for the death of Audreyanna Newell, 29. The charge comes with a firearm sentencing enhancement.

“Some of the details of this case are still murky,” said Prosecutor Mark Lindquist. “This is an ongoing investigation.”

On Jan. 19, 2017, at about 8:20 p.m., Tacoma Police were called to the 5800 block of Marine View Drive for a deceased woman identified as Audreyanna Newell. Her body was located in a view point cut out of the highway. She was pronounced dead at the scene from a single gunshot wound to the back of her head.

There was an open, half full Corona beer bottle near her and a brown bag near her feet that contained a 6-pack of Corona bottles. Detectives were able to determine that the brown bag was used at 7-11 stores in Seattle. Detectives learned that Newell was released from jail in Seattle on Jan. 17, 2017, so they contacted 7-11 stores near that location. In doing so, detectives obtained video evidence from Jan. 19, 2017, showing Newell and a man, later identified as Jess Golden, purchasing two 6-packs of Corona.

The two boarded the LINK light rail train to SeaTac, and are seen getting into a vehicle that is registered to Golden. Video shows this vehicle leaving the parking garage at 5:22 p.m.

Detectives contacted Golden, who agreed to be interviewed. Golden admitted he met a homeless girl named “Lexi” in Seattle and agreed to let her stay the night at his house. He reported that as he drove to his house Lexi” started freaking out and began talking about drugs and prostitution. Golden said he changed his mind about allowing her to stay with him and offered to take her to her ex-boyfriend’s house in Federal Way. He said he dropped her off at an apartment complex near where Newell’s body was discovered.

Golden admitted that he lied about owning a handgun at the time of this incident and that he had a gun in the glove box as he transported “Lexi” to Federal Way.

A search of Golden’s vehicle revealed a seat cover on the driver’s seat only. Investigators also found what appeared to be a single drop of blood on the threshold of the passenger’s door. The tire tread on the Golden’s vehicle appeared to be consistent with the tire marks leading away from Newell’s body.

Golden’s gun has not been recovered.

Bail is set at $1 million.


 – Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office

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