FARGO — "I don't know if this could have been prevented," said North Dakota Parole and Probation Director Pat Bohn referring to the murder of 14-year-old Jupiter Paulsen.
But, his agency will take a closer look at the case.
"You always have that sense of responsibility to protect the community, but it's not a fail-proof system," he explained.
On May 7, 23-year-old Arthur Kollie was placed on supervised probation for 18 months for firing a gun while drunk inside his Fargo apartment. Bohn says Kollie checked in with probation that day. However, when a probation officer went to setup a probation plan with Kollie at Stepping Stone Resource Center a few days later he was a no show. Bohn says that is not uncommon.
"If people are in the middle of addiction, mental health issues, they are young adults and sometimes think it's not too serious," explained Bohn.
The state gives people on probation a 30-day window to setup that plan. Bohn says while the probation office started looking for Kollie, there were no red flags in his file suggesting he was a threat to society.
"Not the case we would have gone out and looked for him right away," Bohn said.
Currently there are 6,700 people on probation in North Dakota. Each probation officer oversees more than 50 people.
"It's just hard to predict who those people are with any great deal of certainty," he said.
Bohn says a day or two before the killing, the search for Kollie did ramp up following his arrest after a fight at a downtown Fargo bar. But there was still that 30-day window for him to fill out that plan.
"It's always hard to say what would have happened, would we have done it in the next two days, next two weeks, that's difficult to say," Bohn said.
Bohn says there is nothing that stands out to where his agency can tighten things up, but wants the community to know his office is committed to everyone's safety.
"Our system has always got to strive to do better, and each bad situation isn't necessarily where we should point toward driving us to strive to do better, we gotta do that everyday," Bohn said.
During his first stint on probation, Kollie had his probation revoked for missing appointments and using marijuana. He got a year in jail.
Kollie moved to Fargo and that's when his legal issues started again.
Bohn did clarify that the prosecutor overseeing the murder case misspoke at Kollie's initial appearance, when she said the probation violation stemmed from Kollie being convicted for beating up a correctional officer in Morton County back in 2017. It was the May 2021 case where he violated probation.