The man convicted of killing four people at a property management business in Mandan 2 ½ years ago will be sentenced Dec. 28.
A Morton County jury in August found Chad Isaak, 47, of Washburn, guilty of four counts of murder in the deaths of RJR Maintenance and Management co-owner Robert Fakler, 52; and employees Adam Fuehrer, 42; Bill Cobb, 50; and Lois Cobb, 45. The Cobbs were married.
The four were shot and stabbed April 1, 2019, in the RJR building on the Strip in Mandan. The case drew national attention for its brutality -- the victims suffered more than 100 stab wounds -- and its lack of a definite motive.
Jurors saw video of the crime scene; weighed DNA, forensic and fiber evidence; and heard testimony from dozens of police and expert witnesses -- all of which Assistant Morton County State’s Attorney Gabrielle Goter said pointed to Isaak. The wounds targeted vital vessels and organs, something Goter said Isaak knew about because of his chiropractor and Navy medic training.
“He possessed that anatomical knowledge,” Goter said during closing arguments.
Isaak’s defense team maintained during the nearly three-week trial that investigators didn’t seriously consider other possible suspects. Attorney Bruce Quick called it a “classic case of confirmation bias,” in which investigators believed they’d solved the killings and focused their efforts on trying to prove that theory.
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The six men and six women on the jury deliberated a total of about 4 ½ hours.
South Central District Judge David Reich ordered a presentence investigation after the verdict. The jury also found Isaak guilty of burglary, unlawful entry into a vehicle, and a misdemeanor count of unauthorized use of a vehicle.
Isaak faces the possibility of life in prison on each of the murder convictions. A life sentence can come with or without a chance at parole.
Chiropractic license revoked
North Dakota's Board of Chiropractic Examiners recently revoked the license of Chad Isaak.
The seven-member board's vote at its Sept. 24 meeting to revoke Isaak's state chiropractic license was unanimous, according to board Executive Director Lisa Blanchard.
"It was a simple motion at that meeting," she said.
The 47-year-old Washburn chiropractor and the board agreed in 2019 to the suspension of his license until his criminal case was resolved. The agreement included a clause that Isaak's license would be revoked if he pleaded guilty to or was convicted of any charges in the case.
Isaak opened Isaak Chiropractic of Washburn on Main Avenue in 2015, according to a feature story on Isaak in a 2015 supplement to the McLean County Independent. Isaak first opened a practice in Hazen in 2006, the news story said.
Reach Travis Svihovec at 701-250-8260 or Travis.Svihovec@bismarcktribune.com