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Timothy Eugene Peterson, knife-wielding "soul collector," will plead guilty

Timothy Pearson, soul man.
Timothy Pearson, soul man.

Maybe Timothy Eugene Peterson had the Grim Reaper in mind when he came after neighbor Ivan "Skip" Mallas with a knife, uttering some weird gibberish about being a "soul collector."

Or maybe he thought he was an extra in a George Romero movie.

But in reality, Peterson was just a lousy butcher. All he's going to get out of the Jan. 9 attack is a prison sentence.

The Fergus Falls man is due in Otter Tail County District Court today to plead guilty to assault.

Mallas says Peterson called himself a "medicine man" the night when he knocked on Mallas's door. "He told me he was gonna kill me," Mallas said at the time. "I asked him 'Why?'

Jabbing a knife into the floor, Peterson began chanting.

"I have come to collect your soul. I own it, I am a soul collector, I want a souvenir."

A bloody fight ensued. At various times, Peterson tried to hack off Mallas's toes and scalp, slit his throat, and stab him. At one point, Mallas was able to grab the knife -- by the blade. And then Peterson just backed off, and walked home in the dark winter night.

The cops caught him after following a trail of blood in the snow to his house, where he was sitting alone on his couch, covered in blood, next to the knife. Yes, he said, he'd been over at the Mallas residence. But they were just wrestling.

Peterson faces a minimum of seven years behind bars.

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