Testimony begins in trial of man accused of brutally murdering 14-year-old girl
FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - The trial of a man accused of brutally killing a 14-year-old West Fargo girl last summer began late Thursday afternoon at the Cass County Courthouse.
23-year-old Arthur Kollie is charged with murder, robbery and aggravated assault in the death of Jupiter Paulsen who was found with 25 stab wounds in a Fargo parking lot in the early morning hours on June 4, 2021. Paulsen was skateboarding from her dad’s house to her mom’s house when the attack happened at 4340 13th Ave. S., officials state.
Just one hour into his shift as a garbage truck driver for the City of Fargo, Patrick Peterson made his way into the Party City parking lot where he testified Thursday he saw Kollie and Paulsen on the ground. Peterson was the first witness to testify in the trial.
“I probably should have done more than what I did. I don’t think it was enough to try to save her,” Peterson said. He said to re-live what unfolded on June 4 was hard and teared up listening back to his 911 call.
Peterson stated he got out of his truck and started to walk toward the two, and stated he later saw dried blood on the teen and a large blood stain on Kollie’s t-shirt.
“I couldn’t figure out what was going on. He looked like he was pinching her nose. His left hand pinching her nose, right hand on her throat,” Peterson recalled.
Prosecutors say surveillance video shows the assault, as well as Kollie running from the scene shortly after Peterson called 911. Prosecutors say as Kollie fled, he disposed of as much evidence as he could. Prosecutors say Kollie took off his blood-soaked shirt, showered at a local gas station and turned his pants on inside out to hide the blood stains.
Documents say officers were later called to Walmart on 13th Ave. S., where Kollie was caught on camera taking new clothing, entering a room and later coming out wearing new clothing. Officers say they found the pants he wore into the store with what appeared to be blood on in a trash can. Documents say investigators also found shoes with what appeared to be blood on them in the same room.
Prosecutors say after Kollie left Walmart, he went to the federal building in downtown Fargo.
“He goes to the federal courthouse twice. Once to ask for money to get out of town and the second time to ask to be taken into protective custody,” Assistant Cass County State’s Attorney Kate Naumann told the jury.
It’s unclear the exact defense Kollie and his attorney will argue, as the defense’s opening arguments lasted just three minutes.
“Keep an open mind,” Kollie’s defense lawyer Eric Baumann told jurors.
Documents say Kollie told investigators that he suffers from anxiety, depression and multiple personality disorder. Kollie stated he used meth on the afternoon before and had not slept since using.
Testimony is expected to last through much of next week with many of Paulsen’s family members telling Valley News Live they hope justice for the young teen will soon be a reality.
If convicted on the murder charge, Kollie faces up to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Copyright 2022 KVLY. All rights reserved.