“Counselor Charged with Murder of Girlfriend, Jena Olafson, in Benton County”

By | July 13, 2023



A local counselor in Kennewick, Washington, has been charged with second-degree murder after the body of his girlfriend was found in their home. The Benton County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a call reporting a dead woman in a residence on E. Reata Rd. The victim was later identified as 38-year-old Jena Olafson, a counselor who specialized in trauma, PTSD, and women’s issues.

Jena had been practicing as a counselor for seven years and was well-regarded in her field. Her boyfriend, 38-year-old Michael Smith, who is also a counselor specializing in trauma, PTSD, and substance abuse, was taken into custody after receiving treatment for a self-inflicted wound at the hospital.

Investigators determined that Jena’s death was a result of “homicidal means.” Court documents reveal that Michael has now been charged with second-degree murder with the intent to cause death but without premeditation. He is currently being held on a $1 million bail.

The Benton County Sheriff’s Office continues to investigate the case, and they urge anyone with information to come forward and contact Sergeant Horacio Gonzalez or Detective Tara Marks at 509-725-6555.

The news of this tragic incident has shocked the local community. Both Jena and Michael were respected professionals in their field, providing support and counseling to those in need. The loss of Jena’s life has left a void in the community, and her colleagues and clients are grieving her untimely death.

This case serves as a reminder of the importance of mental health professionals maintaining their own well-being and seeking support when needed. It also highlights the devastating impact of domestic violence and the need for continued efforts to raise awareness and provide resources for those affected.


As the investigation unfolds, the community hopes for justice for Jena and closure for her loved ones..