She thought he was giving her a ride to a friend’s house, but instead he killed her. On Sept. 15, Jess Charles Golden was sentenced to 18 years in prison for the murder of Audreyanna Newell, 29. She died from a single gunshot to the back of her head.
“Young or old, homeless or homeowner, we seek justice for all victims,” said Prosecutor Mark Lindquist.
During sentencing, Susan Keller, the victim’s mom, spoke directly to the defendant. “I believe you should pay for your crime to the fullest extent of the law,” Keller said. “But, my profound hope for you is that your heart can change and you can turn your life around.”
Deputy prosecutor Jared Ausserer successfully argued for the sentence to be at the high end of the standard range.
On Jan. 19, Tacoma Police were called to the 5800 block of Marine View Drive for a deceased woman identified as Audreyanna Newell. There was an open, half-full Corona beer bottle and a brown bag that contained a six-pack of Corona bottles near her feet. Detectives determined that the brown bag was used at 7-Eleven stores in Seattle.
Newell was released from jail in Seattle on Jan. 17, so detectives contacted 7-11 stores near that location. They obtained video from Jan. 19 showing Newell and a man, later identified as Jess Golden, purchasing two six-packs of Corona.
The two boarded the LINK light rail train to SeaTac, and were seen getting into a vehicle registered to Golden. Detectives contacted Golden, who eventually admitted he met a homeless girl named “Lexi” in Seattle and agreed to let her stay the night at his house.
During a search of Golden’s vehicle investigators found there was a seat cover on the driver’s seat only, and what appeared to be a single drop of blood on the threshold of the passenger’s door. The tire tread on Golden’s vehicle appeared to be consistent with tire marks leading away from Newell’s body.
Golden pleaded guilty to murder in the second degree on Aug. 17.