Tosten Walsh Lommen, 30, was looking at a serious series of charges after driving drunk and taking South Dakota police on a high-speed chase. However, it became far, far worse when the arresting officers opened his trunk and found a dead woman wrapped in a blanket. The initial charges included a charge that may not be familiar to many on the blog: aggravated eluding.
Trooper Jeremy Biegert initiated the chase after seeing Lommen driving over 100 mph on I-90. Lommen reached speeds of 118 mph before police took out his two front tires with a spike strip. Lommen then ran for it but was pulled off a chain link fence.
One could fairly observe that, when you have a body in the trunk, you might not want to speed. Indeed, in the movie Pulp Fiction, one of the most curious decisions of the “The Wolf” was to go through all of the trouble of disguising a car with a dead man inside but then tell Travolta and Jackson that he likes to drive really fast (even to the location where he wanted to dispose of the car and body):
Of course, Winston Wolffe was not drunk to the tune of 0.142 (as was Lommen).
The charge of aggravated evading is found in the following provision:
32-33-18.2. Aggravated eluding law enforcement officer as felony–Enhanced penalties. Any driver of a vehicle who flees from a law enforcement officer or attempts to elude the pursuit of a law enforcement officer is guilty of aggravated eluding if, at any time during the flight or pursuit, the driver operates the vehicle in a manner that constitutes an inherent risk of death or serious bodily injury to any third person.Aggravated eluding is a Class 6 felony. In addition, the court may order that the defendant’s driver’s license be revoked for up to one year, but may issue an order, upon proof of financial responsibility pursuant to § 32-35-43.1, allowing the defendant to operate a vehicle for purposes of the defendant’s employment, attendance at school, or counseling programs. For any subsequent aggravated eluding violation, the court shall order that the defendant’s driver’s license be revoked for five years.
Source: SL 2006, ch 171, § 3.
Lommen’s bond was set at $2.5 million.
In one on the most understated official statements, the police have declared the death of the woman wrapped in a blanket in the trunk of the guy speeding at 118 miles an hour “suspicious.”
Kudos: Professor Roger E. Schechter