When Shane Goldsby, 26, arrived in his cell at a Washington state corrections center in June 2020, he became more enraged the more he spoke to his cellmate, 70-year-old Robert Munger. Within hours, Goldsby became convinced Munger was the same man who raped his underage sister.

Goldsby requested to move to a different cell, he said in an interview with KHQ last year, but no one would transfer him. He claimed that Munger then spoke to him in detail about how he had molested Goldsby’s younger sister. About seven months earlier, Munger had been sentenced 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.

Hours later, Goldsby sneaked up behind Munger in the common area of the Airway Heights Corrections Center in Spokane County, knocked Munger down and stomped on his head repeatedly, according to a Washington State Patrol investigation into the incident. Munger died days later in the hospital.

Now, Goldsby has been sentenced to more than 24 years in prison after pleading guilty to second-degree murder. “I’m ashamed of my actions, I was put into a situation that I don’t wish on nobody,” Goldsby’s lawyer read on his behalf at a hearing last week. “I got a lot of fixing to do.”

The case, however, raised questions about whether the killing could have been prevented. Why, for instance, was Goldsby placed in the same cell as his sister’s rapist?

The state of Washington Department of Corrections policy says that inmates are “assessed for separation and facility prohibition concerns to ensure safety and facility security.” Inmates who “may be aggressors, victims of aggressors, or the threat to the orderly operation of a facility,” should not placed together, it adds.

Goldsby said in the 2020 interview with KHQ that he believed corrections officers set him up. Law enforcement agents were embarrassed, he said, because he led them on a high-speed chase in a police car in August 2017, injuring a Washington state trooper after ramming into his vehicle. Goldsby was being pursued for an alleged stabbing and managed to get away that night, KATU reported. “I completely humiliated the police,” Goldsby told KHQ. It is unclear what his punishment was for that incident.

“This stuff doesn’t happen,” he added, on ending up in the same cell as Munger. “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 an investigation by the Washington State Patrol determined that corrections staff followed protocol and “there is no evidence suggesting screening staff should have known about the conflict between Goldsby and Munger.” That was in part because Goldsby and his sister have different last names, the report states. Furthermore, it adds that Goldsby did not seek to be transferred out of the cell.

The report also quotes an inmate who witnessed the initial interactions between Goldsby and Munger, who noted that he overhead the men speak about Goldsby’s mother. The two men spoke like friends, the witness, Randy Robinson, told investigators.

That all changed a few hours later when Goldsby ambushed Munger in a common area and struck him in the head. Munger, according to the report, fell and hit his head on a steel seat. As Munger appeared to lie unconscious, Goldsby allegedly punched the man 14 times and then kicked and stomped on his head repeatedly.

After calling for a probe into how the two men ended up in the same cell, state Sen. Mike Padden (R) said of Munger: “He probably would have died in prison, but he shouldn’t have had to die like that.”