A man convicted of killing four people in Mandan has died. Chad Isaac, 48, died of “self-harm,” the North Dakota Department of Corrections said. At 5:44 p.m. Sunday, the North Dakota Highway Patrol was called to Bismarck State Prison looking for a “self-harming resident.” Isaac was taken to Sanford Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 6.24pm.
Isaak was found guilty of murdering four RJR Management employees in Mandan in April 2019. He was sentenced to four life sentences without parole and has appealed to the North Dakota Supreme Court.
Isaac’s cause of death is being investigated further. Isaac, in handcuffs, looked down before the verdict was read, but showed little emotion as the jury’s decision on each charge was announced. After a three-week trial, a jury of six men and six women deliberated for four and a half hours before finding Isaac guilty. Judge David Reich did not immediately set a sentencing date.
Quick said at the trial that the case was a hasty judgment based on bad information, which led to an erroneous conclusion. The defense dropped their case on Wednesday. Prosecutor Karlei Neufeld described the horrific crime scene during the trial and said evidence such as photos, surveillance footage, bullet fragments, knives and other items found during a search of Isaac’s home and vehicle led to the charges against him.
Prosecutors presented the case as a jigsaw puzzle with all the pieces pointing to Isaac, including a knife found in his washing machine, gun parts found in his refrigerator and a security camera tracking his pickup. BCI Oversight Special Agent Arnie Rummel testified that investigators could not identify a motive, but it was not necessary for a conviction.
The defense alleges that authorities ignored many possible alternative suspects. Isaac’s attorneys also questioned the acquisition, collection and processing of evidence; said some witnesses’ statements did not match police reports; and questioned that there was no visible blood on the clothes of people seen in surveillance footage leaving RJR on the morning of the murder.
Prosecutors showed surveillance footage from a number of businesses that authorities said followed Isaac’s white pickup truck from Mandan to Washburn on the day of the killing, as well as footage from a week earlier that showed the killer carried out the planned attack. Forensic experts testified that the fibers on the slain worker’s clothes matched those on Isaac’s clothes, and DNA evidence found in Isaac’s pickup truck linked it to Fakler and possibly Lois Cobb.