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Grieving father teams up with 'pro-white' activist, seeks hate crime charges for daughter's accused killer

Robert Paulsen announced he was teaming up with local pro-white activists to find justice for his 14-year-old daughter Jupiter Paulsen, who according to court records was stabbed more than 20 times on June 4 outside of Fargo's Party City, 4340 13th Ave. S.

Robert Paulsen carrying the urn for his 14-year-old daughter Jupiter Paulsen during the memorial service in 2021.jpg
Robert Paulsen carrying the urn for his 14-year-old daughter Jupiter Paulsen during the memorial service in 2021.
By C.S. Hagen/The Forum
We are part of The Trust Project.

FARGO — Robert Paulsen sat quietly in the Cass County courtroom on Thursday, April 21, while he watched the man charged with killing his daughter get a new chance for a trial.

Beside Paulsen sat friends and supporters, including "pro-white" activist Peter Tefft. In the past, Tefft has been called a white supremacist and a Nazi ; Tefft calls himself a pro-white advocate.

Peter Tefft
Peter Tefft, as seen Monday, Aug. 14, 2017, is a Fargo pro-white activist. Dave Wallis / The Forum

Hours after Thursday's court hearing ended, Paulsen announced he was teaming up with local pro-white activists to find justice for his 14-year-old daughter Jupiter Paulsen, who according to court records was stabbed more than 20 times on June 4 outside of Party City, 4340 13th Ave. S.

Arthur Kollie, 23, a Black man, first entered Alford pleas to charges of murder, robbery and aggravated assault, but then was allowed to withdraw his pleas in January. He is now scheduled to begin trial on Sept. 7 and, if proven guilty, faces a maximum punishment of life in prison without parole.

ARTHUR KOLLIE.JPG
Arthur Prince Kollie.
Cass County Jail photo.

“My daughter Jupiter deserves justice. Arthur Kollie deserves to be punished to the fullest extent of the law. During today’s hearing, it caused me great pain when I realized our system is as hateful as the man who murdered my daughter,” Paulsen told The Forum following the court hearing.

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“That’s why I’ve decided to, with the help of local pro-white advocates, file Fargo anti-white hate crime and bias reports not only against Arthur Kollie for what he did to my daughter, but also against Judge (John) Irby, the Cass County (District) Court, and every individual and institution that is currently terrorizing my family.”

Robert Paulsen speaking at his daughter's memorial service in 2021.jpg
Robert Paulsen speaking at his daughter's memorial service in 2021.
By C.S. Hagen/The Forum

The Fargo City Commission last June voted 3-2 to enact an ordinance that allows police and prosecutors to charge people with a Class B misdemeanor if they commit crimes, “in whole or part because of the victim’s perceived or actual race, color, religion, gender, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin or ancestry.”

The added charge would carry a penalty of $1,500 or 30 days in jail if the accused is found guilty. It can be attached to crimes of simple assault, harassment and criminal mischief.

In a motion to withdraw the pleas filed Nov. 29, Kollie’s then-attorney Nicholas Thornton said Kollie did not understand what the Alford pleas meant for him. Kollie also claims he didn’t enter the pleas voluntarily and that Thornton didn’t “properly assist and help him in the process.”

An Alford plea means the defendant does not admit responsibility, but agrees a jury could find him guilty based on the evidence. A defendant can withdraw a guilty plea if there is a “fair and just reason” to do so, and the prosecution still has the ability to proceed to trial.

Kollie understood the consequences of entering the Alford pleas, and he did so voluntarily, the Cass County State’s Attorney Office said in its motion filed in December.

A month after Cass County District Court Judge John Irby allowed Kollie to withdraw his Alford pleas, Kollie’s new attorney, Eric Baumann, said Kollie would undergo a mental evaluation from a psychologist hired by the defense before the felony disposition.

It is still unclear if Kollie’s psychological evaluation was completed, but Baumann has until the middle of May to file a notice of lack of criminal responsibility defense, Irby said. Kate Naumann, assistant state’s attorney, is waiting to hear back from the defense.

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Paulsen said he plans to push for Kollie to face the death penalty in federal court.

“From the very beginning in dealing with the state’s attorney, I have insisted that Kollie be punished to the fullest extent of the law. White people have civil rights, and Arthur Kollie has a history of attacking white people. Federal hate crime charges put the death penalty on the table," Paulsen said.

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Kollie's criminal record includes a 2017 felony conviction in Morton County District Court for hitting a male corrections officer in the face.

Less than a month before Jupiter's killing, Kollie was freed from jail after serving 27 days of a two-year sentence on a Class C felony charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Naumann said having the case labeled a hate crime by city ordinance would be an enhancement, but prosecutors are seeking a penalty that is “as high as we can get, and we don’t have the death penalty in North Dakota."

Naumann said the Cass County State’s Attorney’s Office plans to prosecute the case.

Kollie initially entered not guilty pleas after an Oct. 25 hearing. That's when Fargo Police Detective Mark Voigtschild detailed evidence gathered in the case.

Voigtschild said the attack on Jupiter lasted nearly 30 minutes, and Kollie allegedly fled after sanitation worker Patrick Peterson arrived at the scene around 6:58 a.m. Kollie was arrested June 4 in downtown Fargo. He told police he didn’t remember attacking Jupiter but said he used meth the day before, according to court documents.

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Jupiter died at Sanford Medical Center four days after the incident due to asphyxiation by strangulation complicated by multiple sharp-force injuries, Voigtschild said.

Jupiter Paulsen
Jupiter Paulsen.
Submitted photo.

Jupiter was skateboarding from her father’s house to her mother’s home when she was attacked.

“We’re not going to stand by and let them do this to another family. We’re going to get justice for Jupiter,” Paulsen said.

C.S. Hagen is an award-winning journalist currently covering the education and activist beats mainly in North Dakota and Minnesota.
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