A 33-year-old man pleaded guilty Tuesday to killing his mother in Palm Springs nearly three years ago, and was immediately sentenced to 25 years to life in state prison.
Tosten David Walsh-Lommen strangled 58-year-old Michelle Nanette Walsh sometime between the evening of Dec. 30, 2017, and the early morning hours of the following day, before driving to South Dakota where he led authorities on a 50-mile high-speed chase before being arrested.
Authorities found the mother’s body wrapped in a blanket in the rear of her son’s SUV following his capture.
Walsh-Lommen appeared in court for a felony settlement conference Tuesday at the Larson Justice Center in Indio, where he pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and requested to be sentenced immediately by Riverside County Superior Court Judge Burke Strunsky.
An arrest warrant declaration from the time of the slaying said Walsh-Lommen admitted strangling his mother, then “freaked out and attempted to clean up the crime scene with bleach.”
Before his arrest, Walsh-Lommen had been staying in Palm Springs with his mother at a home on Icon Way, where Palm Springs investigators found bleach and blood stains on the carpet, the declaration states.
The South Dakota chase began around noon Jan. 1, 2018, when a Highway Patrol trooper saw Walsh-Lommen driving on Interstate 90 at more than 100 mph, triggering a pursuit that ended when officers put down a spike strip that disabled the SUV, according to the office of then-South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley.
Walsh-Lommen then made an unsuccessful attempt to run away.
Autopsy results revealed Walsh died of “blunt trauma to her head and hemorrhage anterior neck musculature,” Jackley’s office said at the time.
Walsh-Lommen was briefly held in a South Dakota jail before being returned to Riverside County to face the murder charge.
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