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A California man charged with killing his mother after he was arrested on traffic offenses in South Dakota was extradited to his home state over the weekend.

Tosten Walsh Lommen, 30, is facing a murder charge in the death of his mother, Michelle Walsh, believed to have occurred in her Palm Springs Home around Dec. 30.

South Dakota troopers discovered 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 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 records.

Authorities in California’s Riverside County immediately requested Walsh Lommen’s extradition, but he wasn’t transported back till Saturday. Information from the Riverside County Sheriff-Coroner’s Office website shows Walsh Lommen was booked at the county’s Robert Presley Detention Center around 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

The site 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 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.

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The judge ruled that the man 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 three years ago, the prosecutor said.

California police have searched Walsh’s home and said they found evidence of a homicide, such as bleach and blood stains on the carpet, according to a Palm Springs detective’s declaration in support of an arrest warrant for Walsh Lommen.

The document said also that during a police interview, Walsh Lommen admitted choking his mother and attempting to clean up the crime scene with bleach. 

Contact Tiffany Tan at tiffany.tan@rapidcityjournal.com.

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Cops and Courts Reporter

Cops and courts reporter for the Rapid City Journal