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Forum staff reports, Published January 26 2011

Mental exams ordered for ‘soul collector’

FERGUS FALLS, Minn. – A judge has ordered mental competency evaluations for a self-proclaimed “soul collector” accused of trying to cut off the toes and scalp of his neighbor in Fergus Falls.

In a hearing Monday in Otter Tail County District Court, Judge Mark Hansen ordered the psychological tests for Timothy Eugene Peterson, according to court records.

Peterson, 42, is charged with attempted murder and assault in connection with the alleged attack on Ivan “Skip” Mallas earlier this month.

The evaluations will be used to determine whether Peterson is able to assist in his own defense and if he understood his actions at the time of the incident. A competency evaluation can pave the way for a potential insanity defense.

Mallas told officers that Peterson entered his home, claiming he was there to kill him and take his soul as a souvenir before turning a knife to his throat, hairline and toes.

Police say they tracked a trail of blood from Mallas’ home to Peterson’s three doors down, where the alleged assailant told officers Mallas’ blood was on him but insisted they had just been wrestling, according to court documents.