South Dakota authorities will be dismissing the state charges against a man accused of choking his mother so he can face the murder charge in California.

Tosten Walsh Lommen, 30, is charged in the killing of his mother, Michelle Walsh, believed to have occurred around Dec. 30 in the Palm Springs, Calif., home they shared.

Walsh Lommen admitted choking the 58-year-old woman and attempting to clean up the crime scene with bleach, according to a Palm Springs detective’s statement filed in California court.

South Dakota troopers found her body on Jan. 1, wrapped in a blanket in the back of an SUV Walsh Lommen was driving. The discovery followed a high-speed chase on Interstate 90 that went through three counties and ended in Rapid City.

Walsh Lommen is charged in Pennington County with multiple offenses: aggravated eluding, drunken driving, reckless driving, resisting arrest and possessing an unauthorized article in the county jail. He is detained in lieu of a $2.5 million bond.

The South Dakota Attorney General’s Office said Walsh Lommen’s local charges would be dismissed once he is held on the out-of-state arrest warrant.

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“Once CA warrant and hold is placed on Defendant we will dismiss our file so he can go back to CA,” attorney general’s office spokeswoman Sara Rabern said in an email.

On Wednesday, the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office received the warrant. He will be scheduled to appear in court to formally hear and respond to the extradition request, said Robin McCool, extraditions coordinator at the sheriff’s office.

There is no timeline yet for his extradition, since he could challenge the request, said John Hall, spokesman for California’s Riverside County District Attorney’s Office, which is prosecuting the murder case.

But once he can be extradited, California authorities plan to send their people to South Dakota to take him back.

Contact Tiffany Tan at

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Cops and Courts Reporter

Cops and courts reporter for the Rapid City Journal