Devon James Pulczinski

by April Scheinoha

Late Thursday afternoon, a Pennington County jury convicted Devon James Pulczinski of murdering Alexandra Jo Ellingson on March 27, 2019.

Pulczinski, 24, Thief River Falls, was found guilty of first degree murder, second degree murder and first degree arson. Sentencing has been set for Thursday, Oct. 1.

Alexandra Jo Ellingson

Ellingson, 23, Thief River Falls, was found dead after Thief River Falls firefighters extinguished a fire at 307-1/2 Arnold Ave. S. She was found in the kitchen of Pulczinski’s upper level apartment.

Multiple individuals testified that he was angry with Ellingson and others. In particular, he was angry with her because he believed she had stolen from his apartment shortly after it had been raided for drugs. Neither Pulczinski nor Ellingson were involved in the raid, which took place five days before her death.

Both Pulczinski and Noah Hawkins testified in connection with the case. Pulczinski said Hawkins accidentally killed Ellingson in front of him and Pulczinski decided to make it look like a robbery gone bad. Hawkins said Pulczinski had killed Ellingson in front of him. Other evidence, including Facebook messages, text messages, jail video visits and jail phone calls, were presented. During his testimony, Pulczinski admitted setting the fire.

An article about Pulczinski’s testimony and the remainder of the court testimony will appear in this weekend’s Northern Watch, which was printed before the verdicts were announced.

Jurors had been hearing testimony in the case since Monday, Sept. 14. Jurors received the case late Wednesday afternoon, Sept. 23. The verdicts were announced in open court shortly before 5 p.m. Thursday.