MORTON COUNTY, N.D. (KX News) — The trial against Chad Isaak for quadruple homicide is expected to last three weeks.
Maddie Biertempfel has been in the courtroom at the Morton County Courthouse on Tuesday during jury selection.
It’s taken two days to pick the jury for this trial out of hundreds of potential jurors, and those who will render a verdict have now been decided.
Twelve jurors, six men and six women — including two alternate jurors — received calls Tuesday evening.
Cameras were not allowed in for jury selection, but we spent all day in the courtroom as the State and defense teams asked prospective jurors about their media consumption, knowledge of the case, conflicts of interest or opinions they have already formed.
Opening statements will begin at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday.
The Morton County State’s Attorney said in the pretrial conference there was a motive for the killings of four RJR Maintenance and Management employees on April 1, 2019, but that motive has yet to be made public.
It was never released during the initial manhunt and investigation.
The State’s case includes 127 prospective witnesses. Sixty-five of those witnesses will be called to the stand to testify.
Witnesses include Bureau of Criminal Investigation agents who investigated the crime, first responders on scene the morning of the murder, business owners along the Memorial Highway and Jackie Fakler, the wife of Robert Fakler who was killed and was co-owner of RJR.
The amount of evidence to be presented is large — 181 exhibits will be shown by the State.
Those exhibits range from shoe impressions to Isaak’s clothing to the 911 call and surveillance video.
The defense of Isaak includes a list of 25 planned witnesses: owners of the RV court where Isaak lived, the state Toxicologist and the state Crime Lab are all among expected witnesses.
Isaak’s name is not on that list, but he could take the stand in his own defense — a defendant can make that decision as the trial moves along.
Thirty-three exhibits of evidence could be presented by the defense, including North Dakota Department of Transportation logs of owners of Ford F-150s — believed to be the getaway vehicle.
Google Geofencing documentation and financial documents are listed as some of the evidence the defense plans to present on Isaak’s behalf.
There will be just 60 spectators allowed in the courtroom each day and seating is on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Security will be high in Mandan surrounding the trial, from parking passes to security checkpoints at the door.
We spoke to multiple lawyers who told us this trial — much like the crime — is highly unusual for central North Dakota.
KX News will be covering the trial, including live streaming the case, each day on our website.