Pennington County authorities are awaiting a governor’s warrant from California so they can send back a man accused of killing his mother.
Tosten Walsh Lommen, 30, is charged with murder in the death of Michelle Walsh, 58, that is believed to have occurred around Dec. 30 in the Palm Springs home they shared. South Dakota troopers discovered the woman’s body Jan. 1 in the back of a vehicle Walsh Lommen was driving following a high-speed chase that ended in Rapid City.
Walsh Lommen appeared Tuesday morning in court where a prosecutor said local authorities have not yet received Gov. Jerry Brown's warrant, which would enable the defendant’s extradition to proceed.
The warrant would allow Walsh Lommen’s return to California. He has challenged the extradition request, prompting the next step in the legal process.
Enforcing a governor’s warrant essentially involves confirming that the person in custody and the person wanted are the same individual, Pennington County Deputy State’s Attorney Josh Satterlee said after the hearing.
Walsh Lommen, represented by the Pennington County Public Defender’s Office, is detained at the county jail. He is scheduled to return to court April 12, when the warrant is expected to be on hand.
California's Riverside County District Attorney's Office, which is prosecuting Walsh Lommen's murder charge, said Tuesday that paperwork related to the governor's warrant should be ready to send to Brown's office by the end of the week.
"There have been no delays," John Hall, spokesman for the district attorney's office, said in an email. "Part of the process involves getting judicial signatures."
According to Palm Springs police, Walsh Lommen admitted choking his mother and attempting to clean up the crime scene with bleach. His murder charge carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.
After the New Year's Day vehicle chase, Walsh Lommen was charged with multiple offenses in South Dakota, including aggravated eluding, drunken driving and possessing an unauthorized article while in jail. The charges have been dismissed, paving the way for his return to California.