August 2, 2021
FARGO, N.D. (AP) — It was one of the most gruesome mass killings in North Dakota history; four workers at a business who gathered early one morning for “coffee club” were killed in a matter of minutes. Three were shot and stabbed. The alleged killer shot nine times and flailed away with a knife, cutting one victim’s throat.
The ghastly 2019 scene that gripped Mandan, a community of 22,000 just outside the state capital of Bismarck, is set to be rehashed this week at the trial of Chad Isaak, a Navy veteran and chiropractor whose trailer home is managed by the business police say he “targeted.” Investigators say the evidence against Isaak is overwhelming, including clothing, handgun parts, a knife and used shell casings, surveillance footage, bank records, and Facebook and phone data.
Isaak is charged with four counts of murder as well as lesser counts. He faces life in prison if convicted. The jury selection that starts today is expected to take up to two days, with the trial lasting roughly three weeks.
Killed in the attack were RJR Maintenance & Management co-owner Robert Fakler, and co-workers Adam Fuehrer and spouses Bill and Lois Cobb. The four were known as the “coffee club” for frequently arriving early to grab coffee and chat.
Isaak’s attorneys declined to discuss the case ahead of the trial, but court documents and public comments suggest they will argue that police did a shoddy job in their rush to gather evidence and that Isaak had no reason to commit the killings. No motive has been offered by police or anyone at the company.