Matthew Tornquist

Victoria Wicks

Matthew Tornquist was sentenced Tuesday in Hot Springs for killing his mother, Catherine Tornquist, in October 2011. Life and death are the only two sentences available for first-degree murder in this state. Tornquist did not face the death penalty, and so life in prison without parole was the judge’s only option. After the sentence was delivered, SDPB’s Victoria Wicks reviewed the case with prosecutors and an investigator.

In opening statements at the beginning of the week, one of Matthew Tornquist’s attorneys said the defendant has no obligation to prove himself not guilty, and the defense can be accomplished with effective cross-examination of the state’s witnesses. That cross-examination strategy came into play Thursday, when DCI Special Supervisory Investigator Pat West answered defense questions about flaws in the investigation. Tornquist is standing trial in Rapid City for the murder of his mother, who disappeared almost three years ago. SDPB’s Victoria Wicks has this report.

The exacting and sometimes tedious process of introducing exhibits took up much of Wednesday in the Matthew Tornquist murder trial in Rapid City. The 28-year-old defendant is accused of killing his mother, Catherine Tornquist, in her Hot Springs home almost three years ago. Her body has never been recovered, and so prosecutors rely on other physical evidence and witnesses to make their case. SDPB’s Victoria Wicks is covering this trial.

Testimony in the trial of a Hot Springs man accused of killing his mother started Tuesday in a Rapid City courtroom, after prosecution and defense lawyers made opening statements. Twenty-eight-year-old Matthew Charles Tornquist is charged with grand theft and first degree murder, or in the alternative, second degree murder. If convicted of one of the murder charges, he’ll spend life in prison without parole. SDPB’s Victoria Wicks is covering this case.

Jury Selection Begins In Tornquist Murder Trial

Jul 9, 2014

Trial has begun in Rapid City for a Hot Springs man accused of killing his mother. Twenty-eight year old Matthew Tornquist faces charges of grand theft and first degree murder, or alternately, second degree murder.

Jury selection started Monday afternoon. South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley and Custer County Deputy State's Attorney Matt Brown, serving as a Special Assistant Attorney General, are prosecuting the case, with defense attorneys Matt Stephens and Betsey Harris of Rapid City representing Tornquist. Seventh Circuit Judge Jeff Davis is presiding.