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Fargo man accused of fatally stabbing teen headed to trial with attorney despite efforts to fire lawyer

Arthur Kollie said he wanted to represent himself against charges that alleged he stabbed and robbed 14-year-old Jupiter Paulsen. Now, he is slated to move forward with his defense attorney.

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Arthur Kolie appears Friday, Sept. 2, 2022, in district court, Fargo, to ask the judge to represent himself on muster charges though he reads at a sixth-grade level. “He didn’t follow my rules, and I was upset,” he said.
Michael Vosburg/The Forum
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FARGO — A Fargo man accused of killing a young teenager last year is headed to trial next week with his attorney after several attempts to fire the lawyer.

The trial of Arthur Prince Kollie, 24, is slated to begin Tuesday, Sept. 6, in Cass County District Court. He is charged with murder, robbery and aggravated assault in connection to the fatal stabbing of 14-year-old Jupiter Paulsen near Party City in Fargo.

The trial is scheduled to last four days. Kollie could face life in prison if a jury decides he is criminally responsible for the teenager’s death.

Jupiter Paulsen mug.jpg
Jupiter Paulsen.
Photo provided by family

Jupiter died several days after she was stabbed more than 20 times the morning of June 4, 2021, in the parking lot at 4340 13th Ave. SW. Police said the attack lasted nearly 30 minutes and happened as the girl was skateboarding from her father’s house to her mother’s home.

The attacker ran away with some of Jupiter’s belongings when he was spotted by a sanitation worker, court documents said. Prosecutors are expected to argue that surveillance footage shows Kollie attacking Jupiter.

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Video also shows Kollie walking to a gas station to take shower before heading to Walmart on 13th Avenue, according to police. He then took clothes off a rack and changed in a bathroom, a detective previously said in court.

Officers said they found bloodstained pants and shoes in the bathroom.

They also found Jupiter’s backpack, her ID, a shirt with blood stains and a knife in dumpsters near The Home Depot, according to a detective. Prosecutors likely will argue Kollie ditched those items as he fled the crime scene.

Kollie was arrested the day of the attack in downtown Fargo.

Whether the trial would proceed Tuesday was in question Friday. Kollie’s lawyer, Eric Baumann, filed a motion this week to withdraw as the defense attorney in the case.

Kollie told Judge John Irby he wanted to represent himself because Baumann, a public defender from Minot, wasn’t filing a motion at the defendant’s request and wasn’t “following his rules.”

“It’s my life on the line and not his,” Kollie said.

Baumann clarified that the motion would have been for a Miranda rights violation, though the attorney wasn’t sure if there was a basis for the move.

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Irby expressed concerns about Kollie representing himself since the defendant reads at a sixth-grade level. The judge also noted Kollie struggles with his mental health, including multiple personality disorder.

Kollie previously tried to fire Baumann in early August. Baumann suggested Kollie plead guilty, according to the defendant.

Irby noted Baumann would defend his client if Kollie chose to go to trial. The judge denied the motion at that time, saying communications between Baumann and Kollie had not broken down so much that they couldn't work with each other.

Irby also said Kollie has a right to an attorney, but not the right to choose his attorney if he wants a public defender.

Kollie said Friday he wants help with his defense. An attorney could have aided Kollie on a limited basis if he chose to represent himself.

The defendant also asked for a 60-day delay so he could prepare.

After Baumann and Kollie took a brief break Friday morning to discuss strategy, Baumann seemed to suggest in court that Kollie changed his mind and would keep the attorney on the case. Baumann also said he would file the Miranda rights violation motion.

Irby denied Baumann’s request to push the trial back by two months. Prosecutors recently filed notices for witnesses and gave the defense an assessment that could shed light on Kollie’s mental state in the days leading up to the attack.

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For months, the defense has had reports on what witnesses are expected to testify to, and the notices are more of a formality, prosecutor Ryan Younggren said. The state likely won’t offer the assessment as evidence since it is self-reported, he added in his argument against delaying the trial.

Baumann plans to argue Kollie was not culpable for the teen’s death, according to court filings. The defense has not detailed the strategy in public court documents or court.

Kollie told police he doesn’t remember the assault, according to court documents. He used meth the day before the attack and hadn’t slept since ingesting the drug, police said.

Kollie also has said an alter ego named Prince sometimes takes over. That came out after he fired another attorney, Nicholas Thornton, in December and withdrew his guilty plea in January .

The defense is not expected to call expert witnesses who could testify that Kollie lacks criminal responsibility. It may offer up Kollie's mental assessment.

Prosecutors could call roughly 30 witnesses. That could include a sanitation worker who saw a man matching Kollie’s description standing over Jupiter with one hand over the girl’s nose and another on her throat.

The state likely will also call law enforcement, medical examiners, DNA experts and forensic scientists.

Related Topics: FARGOCRIME AND COURTS
April Baumgarten joined The Forum in February 2019 as an investigative reporter. She grew up on a ranch 10 miles southeast of Belfield, N.D., where her family raises Hereford cattle. She double majored in communications and history/political science at the University of Jamestown, N.D.
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