SANTA MONICA, Calif. — Smoking regulations can be a bit onerous for many people, but for the Cherokee County fugitive who was arrested late last month in a two year-old murder case, they were his downfall.
According to the Santa Monica Lookout — an online news source — Santa Monica Police approached a man smoking at a bus stop in violation of city ordinances, only to find out he was wanted for murder half way across the country.
Ty Bohlander — who was wanted for the April 30, 2017 murder of James McFarland in Cherokee County, Kansas — was approached by Santa Monica Police officers patrolling the Downtown shortly before 4 p.m. on March 20, according to the site.
The Lookout reported officers spotted Bohlander, 23, sitting on a bus bench on the 200 block of Santa Monica Boulevard smoking a cigarette in violation of a local ordinance that bans smoking in any outdoor service area, police said.
"Officers made contact with the subject for the violation," Lt. Saul Rodriguez, the Police Department spokesman told the Lookout. "The subject provided several false names and identifiable information before providing his true identity.
"Officers conducted a wants and warrants check which revealed he was a wanted felon for a homicide in Cherokee County, Kansas with full extradition," Rodriguez said.
Bohlander — who fled Kansas with his mother, Diana Bohlander, — was taken into custody and transported to SMPD Jail for booking, Rodriguez said.
Bohlander, is believed by law enforcement to be one of the parties responsible for the April 30, 2017, death of James McFarland, 64, a homeless man from Tulsa, Oklahoma, whose body was discovered alongside a rural Cherokee County road.
“As the case evolved, detectives quickly identified Ty Bohlander and his mother Diana Bohlander, as suspects, leading to first degree murder charges being filed against both of them and arrest warrants being issued,” Cherokee County Sheriff David Groves said in a release.
During the search for the Bohlanders, Cherokee County Sheriff’s Investigators obtained information leading them to believe they traveled to Aurora Colorado, Cheyenne Wyoming, and eventually to Southern California after allegedly killing McFarland.
“Our detectives have been working closely with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the United States Marshal’s Office, among other law enforcement partners, in an effort to locate and apprehend the suspects," Groves said. “Those efforts paid off when Bohlander was located and placed under arrest last week by the Santa Monica Police Department in California. He is currently being held in a Los Angeles Correctional Facility, where he is awaiting extradition back to Cherokee County.
“At this time, we are coordinating efforts with California authorities to extradite the suspect back to Kansas to answer for the allegations made against him. As for his mother, Diana, we believe her to still to be in the Santa Monica area and law enforcement there continue to search for her,” Groves said.
— Patrick Richardson is the managing editor of the Pittsburg Morning Sun. He can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow him on Twitter @PittEditor.