BOISE -- A 55-year-old Boise man has been charged with first-degree murder by torture in the violent killing of a woman found dead at the Cabana Inn motel Tuesday.

The woman has been identified as 46-year-old Mamokete Folkes. Her address is unknown. The Ada County coroner is still trying to locate her next of kin.

Thomas Lee Herman, 55, appeared before Ada County Magistrate Judge Kevin Swain on Wednesday. He was arraigned on the murder charge.

Prosecutors allege Herman beat Folkes to death, saying he tortured her by using a combination of violent blows from his hands and feet.

According to court documents, Folkes suffered a lacerated liver and traumatic brain injury during the beating.

Herman is a self-described transient. He also has a criminal history of violence dating back nearly 40 years in Idaho, Ohio, and Utah.

His most recent charge came on Dec. 27, 2012, when he was arrested for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. He pleaded down to misdemeanor disturbing the peace. He served only 20 days in jail.

Herman's next court date is set for March 20, where the 55-year-old will face a preliminary hearing. He's currently being held in the Ada County Jail without bond.

First-degree murder by torture is punishable by the death penalty.

Ada County Prosecutor Greg Bower said, alternatively, Herman could be charged with premeditated murder if the torture charge is amended.

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