Inmate Returns to Face Murder Charge

Murder victim Brent Tobey

A Connecticut inmate returned to California and was expected to be arraigned Tuesday, Sept. 6, for the 1978 stabbing-murder of an architect in Laguna Beach.

Three decades after the fact, Walter Lawrence Dalie, 52, was charged Feb. 23, 2011, with murder with special circumstances in the death of Brent Stapleton Tobey.

Dalie has been incarcerated in a Connecticut state prison, serving a 50-year sentence for the 1985 bludgeoning murder of his girlfriend.

He was transported by U.S. marshals to the San Bernardino County Central Detention Center on Thursday, Sept. 1, and is being held without bail.

Last August, Laguna Beach police were notified of a possible DNA match to evidence collected in the death of Tobey, a cold-case file that had been sent to county’s crime lab for analysis in 2002. Connecticut prison officials had recently added newly collected DNA samples from current inmates to a national database. Dalie was linked to the Laguna murder through DNA, prosecutors say.

Prosecutors allege Dalie, 19 in 1978, fled after using a knife to stab Tobey 17 times in his Carmelita Street home. The 55-year-old architect was discovered in a pool of blood in his own bedroom, a crime whose brutality shocked the community and lacked investigative leads for more than 30 years.


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