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North Dakota man files appeal for Mandan quadruple murder conviction

The appeal, filed to the North Dakota Supreme Court on Thursday, Jan 20, states that Chad Trolon Isaak, 47, plans to argue "whether there was sufficient evidence to support the conviction," according to the court filing.

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Chad Isaak of Washburn sits with his defense team Wednesday during the third day of his murder trial at the Morton County Courthouse in Mandan. Isaak is on trial for the killing of four people at RJR Maintenance and Management in Mandan on April 1, 2019. At left are defense attorneys Bruce Quick and Jesse Walstad. Mike McCleary / The Bismarck Tribune
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MANDAN, N.D. — The man who was sentenced to spend four consecutive life sentences behind bars for the killings of four people in Mandan nearly three years ago is appealing his conviction.

The appeal, filed to the North Dakota Supreme Court on Thursday, Jan 20, states that Chad Trolon Isaak, 47, plans to argue "whether there was sufficient evidence to support the conviction," according to the court filing.

No date for the appeal's proceedings had been scheduled as of Friday, Jan. 21.

Issak was sentenced in December to life in prison without the possibility of parole after a jury convicted him for the brutal slayings of Robert Fakler, 52; Adam Fuehrer, 42; William Cobb, 50; and Lois Cobb, 45. All worked at and were found shot and stabbed within the Mandan property management company RJR Maintenance & Management on April, 1 2019.

Three of them were shot, and all four were stabbed around 100 times collectively.

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Isaak's trial in August gained national attention largely because of the brutal nature in which the four RJR Maintenance employees were killed, and because a murder of such scale had not occurred in the area in decades.

The 12-person jury found Isaak guilty on all counts after deliberating for a little more than four hours over two days.

During the trial, prosecutors presented hundreds of pieces of evidence, including DNA and fiber analysis, which they believe connected Isaak to the killings. When authorities searched Isaak's residence in Washburn, North Dakota, they found gun parts that smelled of bleach, bullet casings and a knife and garments in his washer and dryer that matched the suspect's clothing.

However, the prosecution did not establish a clear motive during the trial.

Isaak's defense argued that law enforcement became blinded by "confirmation bias" and only gathered evidence during its investigation that could be connected back to Isaak.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Michelle Griffith, a Report for America corps member, at mgriffith@forumcomm.com.

Michelle (she/her, English speaker) is a Bismarck-based journalist for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead and Report for America, a national service organization that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on under-covered topics and communities.
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