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Investigators testify to gun parts found in Chad Isaak’s freezer and knife in his washer on day nine of trial

Published: Aug. 12, 2021 at 5:48 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - On Thursday, prosecutors narrowed in on one person as the one behind the attacks at RJR. They spent day nine of the trial calling witnesses to testify how Isaak was detained and what was recovered when he was searched — including what they say is part of the murder weapon.

Just days after the crime, McClean County Sheriff’s Department Lt. Justin Krohmer alerted law enforcement to the similarities he saw between his chiropractor’s truck and the suspect’s truck. And he said he saw other similarities between Isaak and the man they saw in surveillance videos. Lt. Krohmer says Isaak’s walk, like the suspect’s walk, is distinct.

“The only way I can explain it the best in my view is almost as if someone is cross country skiing,” Lt. Krohmer said.

Lt. Krohmer’s tip led police to execute a felony stop to detain Isaak.

There were six to eight members of law enforcement, a helicopter and an armored vehicle when conducting the traffic stop.

Deputies said Isaak behaved oddly.

But the defense asked about the amount of law enforcement presence at the stop, and if that’s what influenced Isaak’s behavior.

“There was no fight or flight being shown at that point and time. In situations like that, people tend to want to know why they are being detained, why there are even wraps sitting in front of them, why there are multiple deputies that are around,” said Deputy Raymond Copeland, McLean County Sheriff’s Office.

After detaining and later arresting Isaak, a search of Isaak revealed bruising and scratches on his knees. The prosecution says it was from the attacks, but Isaak had told deputies it was from his dog and falling on the ice.

Investigators searched Isaak’s trailer and seized a number of items and smelled a bleach odor.

When they moved to the washing machine, they say they found a knife with a bent tip.

“The knife that I had located was large. It was around 14 inches long fully extended,” said BCI Special Agent Matt Hiatt.

In the dryer, investigators said they found orange and black clothing and they also found parts of a gun in a tupperware in Isaak’s freezer, but the barrel and cylinder of the gun were missing.

“The suspect didn’t leave anything at the scene; we didn’t find shell casings, we didn’t find the other clothing, the dark clothing that we saw earlier on in the video. So, with that information, we felt that he took it with him so that we wouldn’t discover it,” said Supervisory BCI Special Agent Arnie Rummel.

The defense continued to call the integrity of the investigation into question, asking about the number of people searching the small trailer.

Jurors may not see DNA evidence in this case. Rummel, who was called at the end of the day, testified that DNA evidence was not able to be recovered for some items recovered in the search of Isaak’s property because “bleach destroys blood” evidence.

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