Surveillance videos introduced as evidence from day of murders and the week prior on day 7 of Chad Isaak trial

Published: Aug. 10, 2021 at 5:54 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Attorneys on both sides spent Tuesday morning questioning Mandan business owners and employees about anything they might have seen on security cameras on the morning of April 1st. Ben Zachmeier, who worked for Big O Tires on that day, told the jury what his security cameras captured.

”I found a vehicle come down the strip and pull into the McDonald’s parking lot and an individual got out of that vehicle and walked over towards our property and turned and walked along the west side of our property line to the back behind Big O and proceeded on,” said Ben Zachmeier, former Big O Tires Operating Partner.

Zachmeier said the person he saw on camera was wearing a camo ski mask and was dressed all in black. He also told the jury how he went back and looked at video from March 25th and found the same truck at the same time pulling into the McDonald’s parking lot.

”I remember right that they’ve might have walked up closer to the power poles, where in the other one they might have down in the bottom of the ditch, but timing-wise it was very similar, and they walked over towards Big O and then turned walked down the property line on the west side in the same fashion,” said Zachmeier.

As defense attorneys took their turn to question witnesses they brought up concerns about certain security camera videos, specifically the one provided by Schmidt Auto, that appeared to have 40 seconds missing.

”Do you see the individual in that field?” said Defense Attorney Jesse Walstad.

”No, I do not,“ said Andrew Nicola, a former Schmidt Auto employee.

”So would it be fair to say that they just appear after the gap into the video?“ said Walstad.

”Yes,“ replied Nicola.

”And we can’t tell where their point of origin is,” Walstad continued.

”No,” responded Nicola.

The prosecution later called former Mandan Detective Tyler Henry, who, during the investigation, was tasked with putting together a video and picture timeline of events on April 1st. Both sides questioned Henry about the timeline, including how long it took for Robert Fakler to enter RJR and for the suspect to leave.

”It was one minute, 19 seconds from when Robert Fakler went into RJR to the time the suspect is seen leaving, correct?” said Defense Attorney Luke Heck.

”Approximately, yes,” replied Henry.

Henry told State’s attorneys that it was still possible to commit a crime in that amount of time.

BCI Special Agent Alex Droske was called to the stand last and testified how he analyzed and edited security camera footage to make a timeline that he said was easy for the jury to understand.

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