A California man charged with murder his mother after he was arrested for traffic offenses in South Dakota was extradited back to his home state.
Tosten Walsh Lommen, 30, is facing a murder charge in the death of his mom, Michelle Walsh, believed to have occurred in her home in Palm Springs, Cali., on December 30, 2017. Rapid City Journal reported.
South Dakota authorities uncovered the woman’s body in the back of the SUV Walsh Lommen was driving after he was arrested in a New Year’s day high-speed chase on Interstate 90. The woman’s body was found wrapped in a blanket once the pursuit ended in Rapid City.
A preliminary autopsy, conducted in South Dakota, showed the 58-year-old woman died from strangulation, according to court documents.
Detectives in California’s Riverside County immediately requested Walsh Lommen’s extradition, but he wasn’t extradited back till Saturday. Information from the Riverside County Sheriff-Coroner’s Office website shows Walsh Lommen was booked at the county’s jail around 7:30 p.m. Saturday.
The website shows he is scheduled to appear in court Wednesday morning.
Walsh Lommen’s extradition took three months because he refused to return to California, requiring a governor’s warrant to force the transfer.
At a March 21, 2018 extradition hearing in Pennington County, the governor’s warrant was presented to Circuit Judge Jeff Connolly along with comparisons of Walsh Lommen’s mug shots and fingerprints from California and South Dakota.
The judge ruled that the suspect wanted in California was the same man being held at the county jail and that the state had met its burden, said Deputy State’s, Attorney Josh Satterlee.
Extradition hearings are quite rare in Pennington County, Satterlee said, explaining that most defendants don’t fight the request. The last time the county held such a hearing was at least 3 years ago, the prosecutor said.
California authorities have searched Walsh’s home and said they found evidence of a murder, such as bleach and blood stains on the carpet, according to a Palm Springs investigator’s declaration in support of an arrest warrant for Walsh Lommen.
The document also said that during a police interview, Walsh Lommen admitted choking his mom and attempting to clean up the crime scene with bleach.